The protesters have been cast out of Gezi Park, using too much force, justified by the global fetish-fear of “terrorism.” I still check the news every evening, but fewer and fewer articles are being written and now the blogs are reflecting on the past instead of current events. It is as if by going back to the beginning in their thoughts people are putting the period on the protests. Still, there are the standing people (A protest that officials consider “pleasing to the eye.”) and rumors of people making plans in their neighborhoods. But mostly it feels like things in Istanbul are back to normal. All of my pessimistic aquaintences were right in assuming that nothing would change. I had thought that something would change. I thought that with the force of international media something had to change. But the thing is that the international media never cared about WHAT the people in Turkey were protesting. They only cared about the violence. Now that the violence (physical) has stopped it is no longer considered an important topic. Really it is no longer interesting, and no longer “easy.” It is easy to tell a story of an authoritarian regime. The pictures spoke for themselves. But now the journalism would get messy. It would get involved, and westerners don’t have the patience to get involved in their own affairs, let alone those of people thousands of miles away.
What is most unsettling to me these days is reading the reaction of the officials. The smugness of the Prime Minister, and the foreign ministers. They are trying to spin everything into dominant history, and I fear that it is working. This will go down in history as a peaceful protest that got hijacked by militant, violent, terrorist groups. Within a year the government will actually look like it was protecting the Turkish people and come out in a positive position from these protests. But every statement that they release just seems too condescending, and too smug for people to accept. Yet people are accepting them, or at least no longer speaking out against them. I don’t really blame them. It must be hard to speak when your supposed leader has cut off your head and virtually made it illegal for anyone to disagree with him.
I love one of the official’s statements regarding the standing man protests. He said that they are pleasing to the eye, but people should only stand for five minutes and then on the sixth minute go about their business. I think he misunderstands what a protest is. A protest is supposed to disrupt society strongly enough to make people consider their actions and beliefs. But now any disruption is considered violent and any dissent is considered an attack. Five minutes is not a protest, it is a brief memorial to the death of something that was once beautiful. Okay, beautiful is maybe a dramatic and incorrect choice of word. Not beautiful, but living. Pulsing. Messy.
I think the biggest loss here is going to be the forgetting of who is considered Turkish, and who is not considered Turkish by the sovereign. He made it very clear that he represents only the AKP, and not all people of Turkey. He attempted to strip the minority of their national identity. Real Turks support the party in power. Real Turks don’t dissent. Real Turks don’t protest, he seems to say. What does that make all of the thousands of people who protested? They are NOT some fringe group. They are not social deviants. They love their country, aand are proud of their heritage. They just want to be heard and represented.
It started about trees, but grew into so much more, and in the end it seems like it to will once again be only about trees.

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