June 19, 2013

US Support For The Turkish Government And The Reality Of The Turkish Resistance

The US Ambassador to Turkey has met  with Yalçın Akdoğan, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s adviser, in the headquarters of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara, in order to assure him of continuing US support.

Turkish media are quoting Ambassador Francis Ricciardone as saying, "We are a friend and an ally of Turkey. We are allies in tense times as well as in less tense times. We consider Turkey’s power important.” and “We value common interests as partners. We value the democratic, growing and dynamic economy of Turkey. I believe that our relations are still strong and healthy and it will continue as so. We trust in Turkish democracy.” and "We will continue to be beside you.”

These remarks and reassurances came as Turkish police forces announced that bids will open to purchase 100,000 new gas bombs, 45 TOMA vehicles and and 15 Shortland vehicles. The TOMAs are used to spray gas and water on protesters and for crowd control. Protesters have charged that gas bombs come to Turkey from the US and Brazil. Some 130,000 gas bombs were used to disperse Gezi Park Resistance protesters.

Police repression was used last night in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir against nearly 5000 protesters. Those clashes reportedly left at least 3 protesters, a journalist and one police officer injured. Police used gas bombs and water cannons against the protesters.

The crowd in Eskişehir took up slogans such as “Everywhere Taksim, everywhere resistance!” and “Government resign!” Protesters from Eskişehir have been active in the resistance since the earliest days. They are following the line of Istanbul's Gezi Park Resistance in saying that the Prime Minister did not kick resisters out of the park, but that he has made everywhere a Gezi Park. They are pointedly not taking the line of the "standing man" protesters who stand in silent and powerless witness in public spaces. Turkey's Prime MInister has said that he approves of these silent protests.

Ricciardone's reassurances show that the initial hope voiced by some in Gezi Park that the US has abandoned Erdoğan was wrong and shortsighted. Turkey continues to be a victim of US and European imperialism as the US decides what to do regarding Syria and Iran and as the US continues to need bases in the Caucasus region. On the other hand, the Turkish government acts as an imperialist power in regards to the Kurds.

On Monday, 7 waste water refinery workers in the in Güllük district---a region of Milas district which is located in the southwestern province of Muğla---lost their lives in a horrific work accident. None of the workers had needed gas masks and most died trying to assist their coworkers.  

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