Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A Source From Istanbul

Good journalism relies on good sources. And nothing can be better than a source inside what one is covering. In the case of the current demonstrations in Istanbul when news is abundant, but often controversial, a source within the protesters has been of immense importance. For me this source is Nafiz. He does not report live, not at all. Just posts a few words on FB every now and then, or sends me a link to a good article or blog entry in English. But this is just what I need to make my mind of what is going on in Istanbul.

There is another rule, which is that journalists protect their sources. Well, given the fact that Nafiz is openly posting on his profile, I believe it will not do him harm to share some of his information. And if ever unfriendly eyes come across this or other posts in my blog, say from Mr Erdogan's secret police force, let me warn them immediately: Nafiz does not exist. He is a fictional hero, a character I came up with, so there is no use wasting their time on him.

Here is how it works. On June 6 the protest was a week old. Not much news seemed to be happening. Then Nafiz reposted this status: "'Dear friends, currently the mainstream global media is keeping an eye on Taksim, Istanbul. Thus, the police forces have backed off and they have remarkably scaled down the number of attacks against the protesters. However, in the meantime the police terror in Ankara as it is now is on a much larger scale compared to the very beginning of Istanbul attacks. Tear gas is relentlessly being thrown inside apartments, people are suppressed by plastic bullets, illegal custody and physical assault. Things have escalated quickly and the scale of these attacks are rapidly increasing. We need to make benefit of social media once again to show the world what's going on in Ankara right now. Here is a message from the people of Ankara: ''We have supported the protesters of Istanbul from the beginning, and now it is your turn to support us and the rest of Turkey. This resistance is clearly not limited to Istanbul, it has taken over all of the country. The festive atmosphere in Istanbul is just a trick to fool global media and soothe off the masses, yet nothing has been accomplished yet and things have just started actually.''
 
On Tuesday, June 11, 2013, the first news reports I came across were about violent clashes between the protesters and the police. Here is what Nafiz wrote: "as of this morning, there is play staged by the TR state.. ridiculous. FYI." And he posted these photos with the following text:

BREAKING NEWS:
The Turkish government turns nasty(er)!
Government is staging a fake fight between the protesters and the police this morning. If you see images of people throwing Molotov bombs you should know that those people are not part of the protest and are put there by our corrupt government.
How do we know?

  • Well, the press has covered NONE of the protests going on for 14 days. This is being live streamed on all channels.
  • More than a thousand police has been "fighting" with these 12 guys for over 3 hours
  • Police is pretending to use the water canons but the pressure is so low that the actors\rebels don't even get pushed back one step. 
The real protesters did not fall for this dumb trick for one second! They are staying calm and strong because that is how smart and united my people are!

Later that day I received this post through Nafiz in English and Turkish. I reposted it in Bulgarian: 
Please share ! This morning hundreds of police and water cannon vehicles marched into Taksim. There has been a peaceful environment for 10 days there. This morning at 7:30 people were still sleeping in their tents or having breakfast. When the police attacked with gas bombs a group of about 30 provocateurs who are NOT among us, NOT activists, NOT among the people who resist started attacking the police with Molotov cocktails. Curiously enough the Toma s (water cannon vehicles) that are able to push away and separate hundreds of people within seconds (as we have seen many times in the two weeks) could not get rid of this group of provocateurs for over an hour now. Why? This is all a planned game to be played in front of the international media. The resisting people are still peaceful, they do not throw stones or Molotov cocktails!!! This is a set up!
This report was followed by news of renewed police attacks and brutality on protesters overnight. In the morning today I asked Nafiz whether there was anything that we could do abroad to help them? "I cannot give any clear answer for now. As far as I know, there is no infrastructure to receive donations, on the other hand, I do not think there is financial need (for now). What we need is democracy, (can you bring it with you?..:))"

Well, no.I am afraid I cannot bring democracy over to Turkey. Not from Bulgaria where I come from. Not even from Hungary, where I reside for years now. Only stories of pseudo-democratic measures that bring oppression, manipulation and control by political and economic powers. In fact many in Bulgaria now look at what's happening in Turkey with increased respect and find inspiration, I replied.

In any case, Nafiz advised,  it will be wonderful to spread the news to the international community, especially among the EU members. He then recommended the following channels for following the news from Turkey:
Last two are in Turkish only, however, they are opposition channels and they do show very hot spots that are not covered by 'normal' channels, Nafiz explained. "I very much hope that there will be no more casualty nor injuries." he then wrote.

Well, if there is one difference between Bulgaria and Turkey, it is that the latter's police seems to be really brutal to compare with Bulgaria's. In what would probably sound like a sigh, Nafiz replied: "Yes they are indeed... unfortunately..."
Chat conversation ends here.


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