The Freedom Online Conference is a dialog forum that aims to deepen the discussions on how freedom of expression on the Internet is helping to promote social, cultural and economic development worldwide. This years conference is the 3rd one and will take place on June 17-18 in Tunis.
Hosting this year’s edition is an important step toward developing our efforts to ensure several human rights principles. This is a must especially after we had a revolution that freed us from censorship also as Tunisia and other countries in the region are looking forward to building a better internet governance model where we guarantee the online human rights principles.
Global Government representatives, Civil Society representatives, Netizens, Academia, Business and Technical community representatives, will discuss together the key concepts related to the actual situation of the online freedom of expression.
Looking forward to seeing you in Tunis!
Citizens of the world,
We are Anonymous.
This is a message from the global conscience of the Internet, and beyond, a message from our hearts.
On May the 30th, the Turkish people stood up against the destruction of the Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul.
Since then they have united their voice and are fighting an outrage against their cultural inheritance
We have witnessed those happenings are not only about a park. We have witnessed that the reason why the people
are protesting is much deeper.
Does the turkish prime minister, AKA Tayyip Erdogan, really believe the world is unable to understand what is
happening in his country now ?
The Internet is a place gathering all knowledge and beliefs of Humanity, including of course its History.
While the protestors of #OccupyGezi have to stand violence of the police tonight for the 13th day, as we write
this letter to the world, we would like every human being to know what is really happening in this country.
The people of Turkey, united as #OccupyGezi does not stand only for nature.
The reason why they stand is because Gezi Park represents a historical turning point for them.
Actually, Gezi Park is the place where a rebellion leaded by a reactionary group failed on the 31st of
March 1909, a rebellion which aimed to restore absolutism in Turkey. And the result of this event was
considerable damages to the Taksim Military Barrack which was built in 1806, during the reign of the
Ottoman Sultan Selim III and was finally razed in 1940 for the restoration of Taksim square.
That is to say how the symbolic charge of the Gezi park is high.
Destruction of Gezi Park symbolises the reverse of those events. And this is the main reason why the
people of Turkey now demands Tayipp Erdogan’s abdication. And this is obviously why the ones who
peacefully found the courage to stand up and resist oppression, now have to face violence of repression.
History is repeating itself there, just like it happened so many times, in so many regions of our planet,
as those greedy of power always worked to destroy the Rights the people forged with its faith and blood.
Therefore, #OccupyGezi is a fight for Democracy occuring in Taksim Square.
And yet more, what takes place there is not only recalling into question democracy in Turkey. What takes
place there is the future of the middle-east, and we dare to say the future of the world.
Turkey as a democracy was founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in Ankara.
The man fought to save the independance of his Turkish brothers.
He not only used his military abilities to do so, but he also found the courage in himself to make the change
Just like some people did those years everywhere on the planet.
Our freedom, worldwide, is unfortunately at stake in so many ways, and our ancestors are watching.
The Resistance to oppression in human beings is just like a phoenix, reborn ever from its ashes and
will always be.
We saw those last years several manifestations of this desire of freedom popping out in heroes of nowadays.
Our thoughts go to Julian Paul Assange, Bradley Edward Manning, Jeremy Hammond, Aaron Hillel Swartz,
Edward Joseph Snowden, and all those taking action for a better world than the one which is drawing.
Many people paid tribute to their actions, but the question they have to ask now, is “who am I ?
Am I a hero of the kind ? “
The answer is inside you, and provided that it is your will, no doubt you are.
For all those reasons, AnonsTurkey asks to Occupy-World, Anonymous and every citizen worldwide to become
the full support providers of the #OccupyGezi movement.
Media in Turkey have been silenced by the government and it is now time for us to take in our hands their
mission at a worldwide level.
Support the light of Resistance that is now glowing in Turkey : feed it with your support.
Weaken dark aims spreading the word, make no citizen on this planet ignore this letter from ages.
Help your brothers in Turkey to clear out their country from a government that has ceased to work for its people.
Just find in yourself the will to make a change, each little part of action is to make change.
Remember the voice of Humanity cannot be silenced when it has united.
We work for Global,
We Work as one World
Knowledge is our power
Media our weapon
Taksim Gezi Park is an urban park in Taksim Square, in Istanbul‘s Beyoğlu district. It is one of the smallest parks of Istanbul. In May 2013, plans to replace the park with a reconstruction of the former Taksim Military Barracks (demolished 1940) intended to house a shopping mall sparked the 2013 Taksim Gezi Park protests in Turkey.
At the grounds of today’s Taksim Gezi Park, a military barracks was constructed in 1806. Named the Halil Pasha Artillery Barracks (Turkish: Halil Paşa Topçu Kışlası), it was a grand building designed in Ottoman, Russian and Indian architectural style. The barracks suffered considerable damage during the 31 March Incident in 1909, and waited to be repaired.
In 1936, the French architect and city planner Henri Prost (1874–1959) was invited to Turkey by President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. He was tasked with the preparation of Istanbul’s rough-cut urban planning, which lasted until 1951. In accordance with Prost’s planning, the barracks building was demolished in 1940 by the city governor and mayor Lütfi Kırdar (in office 1938–1949).
In the time before the demolition took place, the internal courtyard of the barracks was rearranged and used as the Taksim Stadium. Turkey national football team played their first ever official international match in this stadium against the German team on October 26, 1923 that ended up with a 2–2 draw.
Prost’s city plan, which came in 1939 into force, provided amongst others a large continuous green park, called Park No. 2, covering an area of 30 ha (74 acres) between the neighborhoods of Taksim, Nişantaşı and Maçka extending to Bosphorus including the Dolmahçe Valley. The large park was intended to offer recreation and green space to Istanbul’s residents as well as to the visitors when the city has grown further.
The contruction of the park was completed in 1943, and it was opened under the name “İnönü Park” in honor of the second president İsmet İnönü (in office 1938–1950) by Lütfi Kırdar personally. The covering area of the park diminished in later years with the building of big hotels in the zone. Nevertheless, the park remained an important recreational area within the downtown of the city, and its outlook changed often with restorations.
2013 resistance against redeveloping the site
From 28 May 2013, the plans of replacing Taksim Gezi Park with a reconstruction of the historic Taksim Military Barracks (demolished in 1940), with the possibility of housing a shopping mall. The protests developed into riots when a group occupying the park was attacked by police. The subjects of the protests have since broadened beyond the development of Taksim Gezi Park, developing into wider anti-government demonstrations. The protests have also spread to other cities in Turkey, and protests have been seen in other countries with significant Turkish communities.
In 31 May 2013, police suppressed the protesters with tear gas, arrested at least 60 people and injured hundreds. The police action received wide attention online. Protesters organized and gathered on İstiklal Avenue, reaching thousands on the night of 31 May.
‘Uncivilised’ Taksim Gezi Park plans spark Turkish Summer
A leading Turkish architects’ association has condemned the lack of consultation over controversial regeneration plans which sparked major protests in Istanbul last week as ‘anti-democratic’
The country’s equivalent of the RIBA commented as occupation of the city centre Taksim Gezi Park – reportedly threatened with demolition to make way for mixed-use redevelopment – entered its seventh day.
In a statement Association of Turkish Consulting Engineers and Architects said ‘participation of citizens in the decision-making process’ was the ‘most important requirement of modern and sustainable urban management’.
It warned failure to engage the public in the scheme represented an ‘unhealthy’ way to reshape cities and violated ‘social rights’.
Protest groups descended on the 30 hectare garden last Tuesday (28 May) after bulldozers uprooted trees in what was thought to be the start of work on the controversial Topçu Barracks Project.
The high-profile scheme backed by Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reconstructs an historic barracks building which was demolished in 1940 to create the square. It is suggested the new building would include a shopping mall.
Taksim Protest Not Just About Turkey’s Trees at Gezi Park
Motivation behind Turkish demonstrations is more complicated than protection of public green space. Spotty media coverage blurs underlying causes; a real-life case of not seeing the forest for the trees.
Weeklong protests allegedly started over demolition of a popular Istanbul park – an issue we covered months ago here. Taksim Gezi Park site is earmarked for a new shopping mall. Urban development sparks protests the world over, so what blew this one to epic proportions?
A peaceful protest began in response to government actions viewed as favoring profit over people and nature. But, similar to “Occupy” movements and the Arab uprisings, the Taksim demonstrators embrace many distinct causes, there is no singular focus.
Sure, there are environmental mandates. There are demands for free speech and entitlement to nonviolent demonstration. There are pleas to maintain separation between secular government and majority religion. There are calls for greater protections for Turkish democracy and human rights.
And the elephant in the Square may be Turkey’s muzzled media, which is unable to report on it all. There are more journalists in jail in Turkey today than in any other country, and penalties are steep for broadcasting state-sensitive stories. Most of the news concerning the protests has come from social media which is fascinating but unreliable, beholden to the writer’s point of view.
When branded organizations join the fray, resultant media attention and self-promotion further skew the story.
Greenpeace sent Green Prophet an update saying that is has declared solidarity with the park protestors, demanding the right to peaceful protest and urging that people and planet come before private profit. They opened their offices, adjacent to the park, offering protesters first aid and a place to rest.