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  • Haber giriş tarihi: 01 Temmuz 2013 Pazartesi 14:52
  • Güncelleme saati: 15:38

What remains in the dark on the Gezi protests

Büşra Selvi

A detailed account of the infamous attack on the head-scarf wearing young mother and innocent by stander as she was returning from a day at the Prince's Islands with her six-month old baby.

The Gezi protests began on May 27th due to allegations that the removal and relocation of five trees within the park to a nearby forest, would equate to the building of an artillery barracks in its place. In these "environmental" protests; the elected government, elections/the national will, and the opposition to headscarves came to the forefront. Despite the government announcing on the very day the protests began that they had planted 2.8 billion trees in the past 10 years, apologizing for the excessive use of police force, stating that an investigation would be under way against police action, announcing the cancelation of the building project, and creating direct dialogue with the protesters, it still did not suffice to put an end the protests.

Despite the government announcing on the beginning day of the protests that they had planted 2.8 billion trees in the past 10 years, apologizing for the excessive use of police force and stating that an investigation would be under way against the police action, announcing the cancellation of the building project, and creating direct dialogue with the protesters, this was not enough to end the protests.

Covered bride

The protesters, that started the protests under the guise of environmentalism, took the protests to new levels when attacked a headscarfed woman and her baby of 6 months. Prime Minister Erdoğan said, "They attacked the bride of one of my acquaintances" at a group rally, turning eyes in Turkey at the bride. The aforementioned bride that was attacked, Z.D., was the bride to the major of Istanbul's borough of Bahçelievler. Before all else she is a mother who was attacked along side her child, due to her beliefs. I just recently read the statement Z.D. gave to the Istanbul Head Prosecutor's office. While reading it I found my self in need of taking periodic breaks. As a covered woman, and as a woman that carries motherly nature I was left speechless. My hands still shake as I write this article.

The testimony of the victim

Friday the first of June, after returning from a trip to the Islands with her friend with her baby, Z.D. was talking on her phone with her husband while trying to cross the road. At that time she realized that a group was passing by returning from the Gezi Park protests with signs and flags in hand were verbally attacking those they passed while assaulting those that dared reply. Some in the group had black headbands while others wore sports jerseys. The attacking noticed her and started the ruckus by saying, "look at her". Afraid that the group might descend upon her Z.D. decides to approach side of a near by wall.

The first attack came from a woman who wore a black headband, as Z.D. says in her testimonial, "walking at the front of the group, approximately 22-23 years of age, skinny build, 1.55 – 1.60 in height, mignon appearance, with long black hair, wearing dark mascara, wearing a white shamble with thick straps, on the front there was a black Che Guavere photo, on the bottom she had light colored jean pants, I was discovered and she kept approaching me, in a sudden way she grabbed my headscarf and pulled it first upwards, before I could realize what was happening she loudly said "Guys I found Tayyip's … " she then started to shout "come here…" Attempting to free herself from the hands of this person but finding her self unable due to the stroller in her hands, Z.D. continued her testimony: "Out of a large group, a male that I could not see the figure of slapped my right cheek, because I lost my balance the stroller left my hands. I fell to the floor on my back, the crowded group surrounded me, the individuals then began to spit on and kick me, I tried to get off the ground and free my self from this group, but was unable due to the crown and failed. "

"We'll uproot you"

The group that was now kicking Z.D. did not neglect to curse at and insult her. "Child of a scoundrel, child of a …, covered...", "we will make a revolution, we will uproot you from Turkey", "Animal, saddle. We will …. you and Tayyip and send you away from this country. They continued to kick Z.D. and insult her in this manner.

The experience of Z.D. doesn't end here. The group of youths that found themselves frenzied continued to assault the mother. "I closed down to try to protect myself, amongst the crowd near the stroller there was a 28-30 year old individual, and bulky built, with brown curly hair, light skinned, with brown eyes, and a thick meaty nose, was holding the stroller and shaking it, inside my daughter was being tossed around. "If I am not mistaken 3-4 people urinated on me, right at this moment a woman bellowed "her headscarf, piss on her headscarf" such she was screaming."

Not satisfied with what they had done thus far, her attackers they turned to assault her in a way that could turn a woman's life inside out.

For some moment the kicks stop, and the physical attack becomes a sexual one. When it comes to writing about this part of the attack my hands aren't functioning and my fingers are shaking. Manhood and humanity, molesting a defenseless mother, thinking of a situation like this my insides and hands will not allow me to write these occurrences.

The person that started the assault with a loud yell ends it: "There is excitement at Inönü Stadium, we are burning a car." The group upon hearing this disbands and heads for Inönü Stadium. Z.D. quickly gets off the ground and goes to her baby's stroller 3-4 meters away.

Assault on the 6-month-old-baby as well

The protesters that attacked the mother due to her headscarf also attacked the 6 month old baby before going to set fire to a car. "My 6 month old daughter was crying, under her left leg's knee there was a small scratch and it had bled, and on her left arm there was a bruise, I tried to get her to silence, and coordinate my self, barley succeeding." Z.D. noticed looking back at her departing attackers noted "two culprits had beet bottles in their hands and they clinked them together and drank as they cheerfully laughed, the one standing on the left had warn a white striped loose t-shirt, the person on the right wore a cream toned t-shirt."

3-4 minutes later, Z.D.'s husband walked down to the Kabataş ferry station towards where Z.D. was. She doesn't answer when her husband asks, "What happened" in fear that her husband will confront the group of her attackers. She can only tell her husband that she was attacked by a group of protesters due to her headscarf. When Z.D. goes home she can see the bruises on her legs. She takes a bath and washes her clothes repeatedly. Due to her attacks she suffers psychological problems and her milk dries. When Z.D. feels better on the 5th of June, she goes and testifies to the assault her and her daughter suffered.

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