THE TURKISH REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED

Words: GUY MURPHY
June 3, 2013

When Gill Scot-Heron penned the lyric ‘The revolution will not be televised’ I very much doubt the people of Istanbul were in his thoughts. However it is them who are now subjected to a media blackout as they fight for their right to peaceful protest. A few days ago a group of people in Istanbul […]


When Gill Scot-Heron penned the lyric ‘The revolution will not be televised’ I very much doubt the people of Istanbul were in his thoughts. However it is them who are now subjected to a media blackout as they fight for their right to peaceful protest.

A few days ago a group of people in Istanbul took to Gezi Park to protest against the demolishing of a green space to make way for another shopping mall in the city. These peaceful protesters – men, women and children – have since been subjected to attacks from Turkish police who have used tear gas, water cannons and reportedly ran protesters over. The Turkish Government have closed down public transport around the square in an attempt to stop numbers growing, however many are walking miles to stand side by side with those defending their basic right to protest. For full details and a first hand account of the events in Istanbul I implore you take five minutes and read this blog post.

Besides restricting public transport, the Turkish government have also instigated a media blackout in the region with CNN Turky allegedly reporting on everything but the park protests. Furthermore the Internet is awash with rumours that people are without signal coverage in the area as companies block communications. It must be noted that while the details are still grey ‘no smoke without fire’ may well be apt. During the protests in Egypt two years ago, the Government managed to create a communications blackout only for hacker group ‘Anonymous’ to step in, providing the protesters with help in spreading their word. Concerns are now that Turkey’s conservative Government are using similar methods to suppress the spread of lawful protest in the country.

It is important that we look to stand with the protesters in Istanbul as they fight for this basic human right. Because negligence of such rights, anywhere in the world, has a trickle-down affect on the rights of our global population. The University of Sussex recently took out an injunction to ban protest on campus without the University’s consent. This is an example of authorities removing our right to protest, by a University of all places; an institution that must promote free speech, thought and rationality. Laterally, while our right to protest is deteriorating, the Government is also attempting to action invasive legislation such as the ‘Snoopers Charter’, which if successful will give the Government legal access to our sensitive data from companies such as Facebook, should we be deemed a ‘threat’ or ‘terrorist’. Naturally, the definition of who is a ‘threat’ is open to abuse, especially if the act of protesting is restricted. The right to legal aid is also under threat as parliament cut state funded solicitors through Thatcherite competitive tendering. A brief piece has been written by UK Uncut to summarise, and as it mentions, Alfie Meadows, beaten up by the Police at a student protest may not have been acquitted without criminal legal aid.

Governments are elected to represent the people and act on their best interests, however it’s becoming more apparent in democratic countries across the world that instead they choose to asphyxiate the mass voice.

Amnesty International have set up this page giving advice on how we can help those in Istanbul and its vitally important that we offer them the voice their own media refuse.




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