Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Story of Basak - Izmir

My name is Basak. I’m 21 years old. Who did this to me?

A pack of bastards!

I think this was as close as I got to death…

We are not those provocateurs with clubs in their hands – breaking the glasses of the banks, vandalizing the streets, making fires, provoking the people in the street making them go here and there. Yes, it is true that I was in the protests that have been going on for a couple of days in Izmir. I was with people who were thinking just like me. It was really nice, we were having fun, just like in a festival. But when the cops showed up, the festival ended. But why? Why did they attack innocent people, instead of those provocateurs trying to overcast a shadow over the protests?

I’m writing this piece with one hand. I don’t care how much pain I’m going through.

People have been suffering for days. They have been breathing in poison. They are getting beaten up. People are severely wounded. Although the media is covering it up, there are deaths. I was at the Gundogdu Square for one reason. It didn’t matter for whomever person. For whatever political party, for whatever football team; we had medicine in our bags, and we were determined to help those who needed help. It was me and a couple of friends, and all we did, until 12, was to hang out on the grass. Then, we got cold and approached a couple of people who had made a fire. We got warm by their fire, and then left them. Then, everything happened. The police started using tear gas, and it was impossible to see anything. Everyone was scattered to another direction. I was left right behind the statue in the middle of the square, and got down on the ground.

I am not a provocateur, nor a terrorist.

I just waited for the tear gas to go away. Just when I was planning to find my friends whom I lost in the commotion, I fell down with a blow to my head. I was receiving heavy blows with clubs on every part of my body – to my head, my arms, my legs, on my back. I managed to open my eyes and saw that they were 7 people. I don’t remember what they were saying, because I was getting hit nonstop. I passed out. I regained consciousness with another blow to my head, and at that moment, around 10 cops started to hit me with batons and clubs. I passed out again.

How can a person with no means to defend herself be treated like this?

I begged a police officer, pleading him not to do this. This was his answer: either play dead, or run away while getting beaten. I chose to run away. Apparently, they had beaten up my other friends, too. I managed to find my friends, the two of them, as I was running. We took cover under the picked-up tables of a closed café. Then, a woman let us in her home.

I managed to regain some of my composure there…

It’s 3 am in the morning. I am at the hospital. My left wrist is broken. My right leg bone is slightly fractured. There are 25 baton and club marks on my body – these are the visible marks that we were able to count. My whole skin is purple. My left cheekbone is slightly swolen and red – not to mention the blows I received to my head.

I got the battery report from the hospital.

There are evidence and witnesses regarding that I was almost beaten to death by people who were members of the Police Force, and by people who weren’t.

Now I’m waiting for the Justice to take place.

I’m grateful that you are with me, on my side.

Keep resisting – for me, for my country, and for our nation. 

What's this?

I thought a blog that keeps track of the first hand accounts/narratives of the protesters who have been through lots of stuff in Istanbul, and in many other cities of Turkey since the resistance in Taksim Gezi Park has started 8 days ago.

So, if anyone has an objection, they can comment on it. If the translations seem like they are hastily made, that's because they are. I'm open to any editing offers, suggestions, etc.