The Karagöz puppets are çapuling from bed rest!


Image by Liz Cameron

Image by Liz Cameron

Arkadaşlar – Friends,

I’m trying hard to make a slowly by slowly come back… I’m feeling very sick and awaiting surgery without a set date due to insurance problems. As I lie here in bed in pain I am entertaining myself by watching the goings on in Turkey – which feel quite revolutionary. Most of you will know what I am talking about – but in case you don’t Hacivad Bey & I will sum it up for you here:

(Karagöz is impatient – just protest – forget blogging – time only for çapuling!)

Only roughly 2% of Istanbul’s geographical area is green space. One tiny park in the center of Istanbul, Gezi Parkı, became at risk of being razed at the order of Prime Minister Erdoğan.

A small number of protesters began a sit-in, occupy movement-style. They were gassed early-morning a week ago – leading to larger and larger protests w/ thousands upon thousands of people streaming towards the city center from the European and Asian sides of the city. The sheer numbers of people walking across the bridges from the Asian side to the European side of Istanbul over the Bosporus strait were staggering.

Image by Liz Cameron

Image by Liz Cameron

This small environmental protest became the straw that broke the camel’s back (so to speak) for many in Turkey around issues of government repression vis a vis veiling, sales of alcohol, media repression and more. As the famous Turkish writer and poet Nazim Hikmet said years ago,
“one tree fell, one nation rose!” And indeed, it appears this has happened, albeit perhaps for slightly more than 50% of the population. Turkey is split fairly evenly as I understand it between secularists & more conservative practitioners of Islam.

Responses to these peaceful protests have been stunningly brutal on the part of the police who have used tear gas and pepper gas and water cannons with abandon. Our friends have been gassed and at times the gas has so saturated the air across the city that our friends have had to flee their apartments because they could not breathe.

We have watched a video of police brutality on M.’s Home street – where we can see the family building which he grew up in and which is still part of the family. Can you imagine watching a revolution take place on your home street? There were pools of blood on the street – it was very disturbing.

There are many light moments though, that I have watched on my iPad – videos highlighting the amazing creativity and humor of Turks in the face of such a difficult situation. One of my favorite graffiti lines said “please send more pepper gas – it’s good for the complexion.” Of course, after Prime Minister Erdoğan Referred to the protesters as çapulcular – Which can be translated as bombs, looters, rioters, troublemakers, etc. – The people have taken back the word and made it into their own. Slogans such as “I am çapuling every day” or “I çapul, Therefore I am” are commonly seen in graffiti around the city now.

So far, it appears that the AKP governing party has not budged very much in response to this major popular movement – a popular movement that is burgeoning way beyond Istanbul in many cities all over Turkey including for example Bursa, Eskişehir, Antakya,
Tunceli, Diyarbakır, Rize, İzmir & Ankara Among many more. We hear that almost all of the 81 provinces in Turkey are experiencing protest – not mostly nonviolent protest. It saddens us that the United States television media especially seems to focus only on Istanbul – although it’s a bit better today.

In any case, Karagöz And the whole theater puppet crew resident here in the bed with me have one message for you:

“Viva çapuling & power to all the çapulcular worldwide – may good sense, compromise, reason and peace abound as we move forward in these difficult days.”

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This entry was posted in On writing about my life with the Karagöz puppets, Turkish Controversies, Visits from the Karagöz puppets and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Karagöz puppets are çapuling from bed rest!

  1. Sorry to hear you are unwell Liz 😦 Thinking of you and wishing you better…

  2. joyce colman says:

    Thanks for your summary. It is very helpful to get your perspective because like everything else in the news, a lot is left out and, unfortunately, a lot is filed in!! Hope you are finding distractions in your pain. jc

  3. lizcameron says:

    Thank you very much for your good wishes! They are much appreciated! I have missed the blogosphere – and have lots to catch up on in your blog I’m sure! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods in Turkey! Best, Liz

  4. lizcameron says:

    Thank you so much for your comment JC. And for those of you not in the know that does not mean Jesus Christ. It has been maddening to watch the crappy coverage of what is going on on US TV. We have been fighting with our cable company for two days just to subscribe to Al Jazeera in order to get some more coverage and less biased coverage. I’m sure Obama’s phone tappers are all over us by now – if not before then certainly after the Al Jazeera request! Blogging, it turns out, is much more fun than focusing on pain – When meditation is not possible. Love, Liz

  5. So very well summarized, and roguishly written, as the protest itself, though deeply serious, is delightfully airy, and about air! Power to the people!!

  6. Alan says:

    . . keep truckin’ and do your bit from your end of the trench/barricade. What you are experiencing in you life is exactly why J and I stand where we do politically – Power to the People/Puppets! TCOEO

  7. omentide says:

    Unbiased news is impossible to come by. At the best of times. We’re getting links by Facebook and keeping an eye on the BBC and Hurriyet. We can see what is happening on the streets locally.

  8. Pingback: #OccupyGezi and Youth: What I thought I knew – and didn’t know | Slowly-by-Slowly

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