Interview with Sukran Moral Part 1

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Good evening to everyone! While the violent repression of the protest movement in Turkey continues, i purpose to you the interview which i have realized with Sukran Moral, a Turkish artist, operating between Rome and Istanbul and currently active in Istanbul’s protests. The image above captures a moment of the artist’ s recent performance realized in Istanbul. Enjoy your reading!

What’s the origin of your recent performance, critical of the AKP’s government approach towards the Occupy Gezi and Taksim Square’s movement in Istanbul?

The 31th of May a People’s Revolution started. This revolution has grassroots origins, it’s not driven by someone. Everything is changed and i also wanted to do something; leaving a sign, for certain . This protest is a critic of the system in general, and goes against everything that is “fascism” , thereofore against the laic and democractic country. I have sliced on my abdomen the letter A, symbol of this movement “Occupy Gezi”. I walked up on the bench with a gas mask and a cap on my head, two objects symbols of the protest.

I have enveloped myself in white linen as if wanted to say: “ I am ready to die for my homeland”. But i have also said:  “ I hope that this blood will be the last one to be spilled”. At the end of the performance, I have asked the public to embrace me.

In your artistic career, you have analyzed the negative effects that religion may have on women. What is the role played by the laity and gender issues in the recent protests?

Religion is an excuse,  a trick, aimed to rule the people and exploit the poors.

In 1996, i have started a work on the gynecological bed. In 2009 , i have realized a series of artworks called LOVE AND VIOLENCE

In that performace, i explained how a family’s strong hand may affect the life of a child. Forcing a children to marry is violence. I had foreseen it all. Fifteen women have been killed just in June. Violence on women has no end:  asking the women to bore three children, getting married when they are children, or when someone is pregnant, new rules on abortion… there is a relevant Game on the womens’ body .

In this moment the Turkish people is united on two fundamental points: being laic and democratic.

A true democracy, a representative one and not just an apparent one.

 

Intervista con Sukran Moral Parte 2

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The Lynching of an Artist, Sukran Moral, (http://rapidpulse.org/the-lynching-of-an-artist-sukran-moral)

L’ Arte può essere un potente strumento di espressione del dissenso; che ruolo giocano gli artisti di avanguardia nel movimento emerso da Gezi Park?

Fino ad ora non ci credevo. Ma ho visto che una rivoluzione pacifica era possibile e per farla hanno usato il mezzo dell’ Arte.

İronia, performance come arte usata per protestare, per farsi capire. İncredibile!  Creatività cosi mai vista. Da tanti anni sto lavorando, ho usato le performances sempre per distruggere il tabù. Vuol dire che sono servite.

Si l’arte può cambiare.

La politica economica dell’ AKP e le discriminazioni delle persone ai margini della società; quanta critica a questi due elementi c’è nel movimento attuale?

La gente, nucleo fondante di ogni democrazia, non ce la fa più. Cittadini e anche giornalisti che simpatizzano per Occupy Gezi sono stati cacciati  dal lavoro. Prima il governo si era accanito contro gli artisti, gli intellettuali, insomma contro chi pensava.  Per il governo, e lo ha dimostrato, era un obiettivo da combattere, creando una situazione di linciaggio. Praticamente hanno la presunzione di imporre, di imporci come dobbiamo vivere. La Gente è stata, è umiliata dalla ignoranza.

Da quanto stai vedendo, quali sono le prospettive del vasto movimento di protesta, di fronte al pugno di ferro portato avanti dal Governo Erdogan?

La strada sarà molto lunga, penso.  Ma la Gente difenderà la Repubblica. Fino alla fine. Democrazia, laicità. Nessuno vuole essere governato come nel Medioevo.

Qualcuno vuole portare la Turchia nel Medioevo, come buoi, ma non ce la faranno. Noi siamo diversi.

 

Potete seguire Sukran Moral su Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sukran.moral?fref=ts) e su Twitter (https://twitter.com/sukranmoral).

 

Intervista con Sukran Moral Parte 1

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Buona sera a tutti! Mentre la violenta repressione del movimento di protesta in Turchia continua, vi propongo l’ intervista che ho realizzato con Sukran Moral, artista turca ,operante tra Roma e Istanbul e attualmente attiva nelle proteste a Istanbul. Nella immagine sovrastante, potete vedere la performance da lei recentemente effettuata a Istanbul. Buona lettura!

 

Come si è originata la tua recente performance, critica dell’approccio del governo dell’AKP al movimento di Occupy Gezi e Piazza Taksim, a Istanbul?

Il 31 Maggio è iniziata una rivoluzione,  del Popolo. Una rivoluzione che parte dal basso, nel senso che non è pilotata. È tutto cambiato, e anche io volevo fare qualcosa; certamente lasciare un segno.. Questa protesta è una critica del sistema in generale, e contro tutto quello che è “fascismo” quindi contro il paese laico e democratico. Ho inciso con una lametta sulla mia pancia la lettera A, simbolo di questo movimento “Occupy Gezi”. Sono salita sulla panca con una maschera anti-gas e un berretto in testa. Due elementi simbolo della resistenza.

Mi sono avvolta con un lino bianco come a voler dire: “Sono pronta a morire per la patria”. Ma ho anche detto: “Spero che questo sia l’ultimo sangue che colerà”. Alla fine della performance ho chiesto di essere abbracciata dal pubblico.

Nel tuo percorso artistico hai analizzato molto gli effetti negativi che la religione può avere sulle donne. Che ruolo giocano le questioni della laicità e di genere nelle proteste attuali?

La religione è  una scusa, il paravento, per governare il popolo e per sfruttare la povera gente.

Nel 1996 ho iniziato a fare un lavoro sul lettino ginecologico. Nel 2009 ho realizzato una serie di lavori intitolati LOVE AND VIOLENCE…

Una performance dove raccontavo come la mano forte della famiglia può trasformare una bambina. Violenza è costringere a sposarsi da bambina. Avevo previsto tutto. Soltanto in giugno sono state uccise 15 donne. La violenza sulle donne non ha fine:  chiedere alle donne di fare tre figli, sposarsi da bambine, oppure quando una rimane incinta, le  nuove regole sull’ aborto…sul corpo delle donne ci giocano di brutto.

In questo momento il Popolo della Turchia è unito su due pricipi fondamentali: essere laica, essere democratica.

Una democrazia  in senso vero, rappresentativa e non di facciata.

 

 

#Occupy Turkey in Berlin

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Good evening to everyone! I was in Berlin two weeks ago and i had the chance of following a demonstration organized by TGB, the Turkish Youth Union (http://www.tgbinternational.org/) established in 2006 first in Turkey and afterwards worldwide. When i spoke with Kurtulus, one of the organizers of the protest (also held in the same day in all the major German cities) he explained me that Erdogan’s government is actually like a dictatorship, given the fact that the Army has no more power and that the media are under a relevant control of the government.

 

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Other reasons of criticism are represented by the fact that the AKP government managed to operate a revolution in the school systems, undermining the principles of laity and influencing the little kids. Journalists and activists have been arrested in Turkey in the last year even long before that the protests for Gezi Park started. You can have a look at thedemonstration in the following photogallery. Stay tuned!

 

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Voices from Turkey-Interview with Musa Copur Part 3

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We have heard of criticism towards Erdogan’s government many times during the last years. Is it possible to say then that this movement has consolidated its roots in the last years?

It is definitely possible to say that this movement has consolidated its roots in the last years. AKP is governing Turkey as a single-party-government since November 2002. This has not been changed also in 2007 and 2011 elections. Religion, the relationship with partisans based on mutual benefits, transformation of the media into a partisan media, infiltration into all critical positions, the paradigm of the relationship between capital and dominance have all helped AKP to get stronger. It is also possible to say that the weak opposition and election threshold (10%) in Turkey have a significant role.

Since it is expected that AKP will also be the leader party in next elections, its policies become more radical, it started to arrange society according to religious references, and relationships based on economical interests, pressures on all other political attempts and arrests have increased. By the changes in educational system, alcohol prohibitions, strict arrangements on abortion law and sales of morning-after pills, and finally the demolition plan of TaksimGeziPark, the tolerance threshold of people has been overstepped, the roots of an uprising have been grown and people have started to rise. One-man policies of Erdogan, his personal tone and insultation have intensified these roots.

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What are the next perspectives of this movement? Do you believe that some political force could take this challenge or this would continue as an independent movement?

The resistance does not consist of a single political view but of neo-nationalists, kemalists, socialists, communists, democrats, nationalists, feminists, homosexuals and apolitical masses, and this make the movement an independent civil movement. It is not possible to control this mass by a single political influence. All political parties participating at the resistance will go through the process by getting stronger; however, it is not possible to see a tendency toward a single direction. It is also possible in the elections at the end of the process to see more powerful alliances among the parties supporting the resistance.

Current movement has awakened and mobilized a great apolitical mass. It is certain that the movement will increase the awareness on social inequality, capitalist economical system, starvation and poverty, ecological demolition, social gender, LGBT, press freedom and justice. The change has started to appear in the conscious of masses and it will yield result in the long-term. Movements of seeking justice will gain strength, and people will not be scared of demonstrations and other political attitudes. In the short-term, it is difficult to interpret the results of the demonstrations. The patience, persistence and attitude against violence of demonstrators and the discourses and attitude of the government will lead the process. The demonstrators have depicted their demands, and we hope to maintain the demonstrations until these demands come true.

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During the time Musa was preparing this interview the police attacked people in Istanbul and Ankara with no real reason. A young man died  on 12.06.2013 named Mehmet Ethem Sarılülük in Ankara…

 

Pictures by Musa Copur

Voices from Turkey-Interview with Musa Copur Part 2

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What’s the current attitude of Turkish media in front of the massive protests and the relative police’s repression?

“According to the Press Freedom Index 2013, Turkey’s score was 55 and it was on 117th rank in 2012. You can see that Turkey shares its rank with Columbia, Congo, Nepal and Senegal. This year, the score is 56 and the rank is 120. We are sharing our rank with Congo, Fiji, Liberia, Macedonia and The Seychelles. In Turkey, there are 67 imprisoned journalists including some editors in chief.

The resistance showed that the media is completely under political influence in Turkey. Except 2 television channels which belong to opposition parties, no channel broadcasted the demonstrations for days and all their broadcastings have disinformation purposes.

Except dissident newspapers and journals, all national newspapers have become the spokesmen of the government. Many years ago in Turkey, most of the national newspapers had been brought under the control of capitalist bosses and since then, they have been serving to the purposes of the system.

When demonstrators started to boycott the banks, the affiliated TV channels started to broadcast about demonstrations in order to prevent their economical losses; even then, they cannot make independent broadcastings.

They are not broadcasting police violence, and journalists displaying police violence are arrested. Some policemen hide their ID numbers on their helmets by sticking tapes and attack demonstrators by preventing their violence to be revealed. The social media has become the actual communication tool of demonstrators. Twitter and Facebook are the most used websites; however, police forces have been tracking their accounts on these platforms and arresting some Twitter and Facebook users in order to suppress the social media.

It is seen that AKP has been quite successful for creating a partisan media during 10 years as a result of capital relationship with the media and oppression on it. The violence and the reaction are much more than those shown in the media.

 

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Do you personally believes that there is a common connection between the current protests in Turkey and the various Occupy movements spread in Europe, in the U.S and so on?

The protests in Turkey are definitely connected with the protests in Europe and in the U.S.  Protests in Turkey have participated in the protests in other countries against capitalist, neo-liberal and imperialist policies. Although there are different motives in the demonstrations of each country, it is seen in the grand scheme of things that the world is a total economical and political depression. The system has reached to an unsustainable point.

An oppressive, unfair, destroyer period uniforming and creating a global crisis has started in the world. The discourses such as development, growth, democratization, and increase in the level of welfare have lost their plausibility, and they have become a tool of capitalist world for hypnotizing people.

At this point, Turkey has taken its place in the world resistance.

 

It continues and concludes in Part 3

 

 

Voices from Turkey- Interview with Musa Copur Part 1

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Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! I am going to end the Blockupy Chronicles in the next days but in the meantime i would like to purpose to your attention a voice from Turkey’s protests, precisely Musa Copur’s one. Musa is a trainer from Ankara and is actively participating to the protests in Turkey’s capital city. You can read the first part of our discussion below.

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AKP’s policies are depicted in the media during the #occupyturkey movements as a menace to the State’s laity to one hand and also criticized for their economic applications. Is the movement  demonstrating against the government for both the reasons?

Even though the current resistance in Turkey began with the GeziPark’s demolition plan for the realization of a new mall, there is a series of reasons for the resistance of such a huge crowd. The reason is not limited with the apparent and known reasons. It is about the religion-based politics getting more and more dictated on current lifestyles and management approach, the neo-liberal capitalist attack destroying life step by step, and growing economical depression of citizens despite the economical rise of Turkey. The movement is against the AKP practices which dictate conservative lifestyle on the society and create an economical benefit chain among its supporters.

In this respect, while political Islamic approach of the country and economical policies are protested, there are also many other reasons such as independent journalism issues, political lawsuits lasting for years, the system which has become a police state and infiltration into all critical positions etc.

People do not want to be despised, scorned, discriminated, or intervened into their lifestyles; they do not want any social oppression… The objection is against the one-man regime which turns into a police state.

The demonstrations started in Istanbul concerning the Gezi Park’s demolition plan for the realization of a new mall. For what concerns Ankara, are there also local elements of protest in the capital?

GeziPark was the originating point of the resistance, and of course it was the most apparent one. As I said before, there are many reasons for the resistance other than the known ones. There are demonstrations in many cities of Turkey, not only in Ankara. More than 600 demonstrations were held in 81 cities. Since the cities such as Ankara, Izmir and Antalya were metropolitan cities, they were noticed much more than other small cities, but the resistance continues in many cities currently. There also supporting demonstrations in many cities of other countries. Since Ankara is the capital city, it has become one of the cities which felt political oppression and police violence more. People are carrying out demonstrations in every district of Ankara and police violence has been increasing.

 

 

Blockupy Chronicles Part 1

 I came to Frankfurt for covering Blockupy 2013, a mass protest brought in a city far more than symbolical. Frankfurt is also called ‘Bankfurt’ because of the presence of many banks, such as Deutsche Bank, but the main important one and the target of the mass protest against the Troika policies was clearly the European Central Bank, located in Kaiserstrasse.

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When i arrived in the city, i have noticed the massive effort realized by the Police aimed at surrounding with barriers the European Central Bank and more in general, most of the Financial District before the demonstrations’ beginning . Actually the presence of the Police in the city, was very relevant, most likely supported by reinforcements coming from the neighbouring cities.

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The days of demonstration were set on Friday 31 May and Saturday 1 June, in the context of the Peoples United Against the Troika Day of Mobilization ( a day of demonstrations set in France, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Germany….). A camp was organized this year, called Camp Anticapitalista, located in Rebstock, part of Frankfurt’s suburbs.

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The aim of the camp was the one of hosting the activists from Germany and the rest of Europe, but also of organizing and discussing the organization and the guidelines during the days of protest. On Thursday the 30th i walked to Frankfurt Main Station in order to reach the Camp and i was not alone at all; a lot of activist were also waiting there for the bus headed to Rebstock. In the Camp i asked permission for taking pictures and ‘portraying’ the context as a blogger at the Info Point. While i was walking i started to hear many different languages from different parts of Europe, German for sure, but also Italian and Spanish. The presence of the Italian activists was relevant, alongside Global Project (http://www.globalproject.info/), a multimedia platform of media activists. An assembly then started aimed at setting the plan for the mobilization of the following way. The assembly was held in a very democratic way and while all it was first said in German, some activist among the crowd translated the speeches in Italian, Spanish and English. The atmosphere was really relaxed, positive and proactive in the Camp on Thursday the 30th of June.

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 After having listened to the Assembly ideas for Friday’s mobilization , i spoke with some activists and journalists in the camp. After that i took the bus back to the Central Station alongside many activists, journalists and bloggers, waiting for the main plan of the following day: the block of the European Central Bank.

Free Park Corner on WordPress….and Blockupy Chronicles!

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Good evening! I have decided to move Free Park Corner on WordPress; this space will remain open for interviews about issues concerning geopolitics and economics. Free Park Corner will also feature reportages such as the recent Blockupy Chronicles. Blockupy has brought the opposition to the European Central Bank and Troika policies in Frankfurt during the last week end……stay tuned!

 

 

Interviews, reportages…free information in an open space…