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LOCAL > Gezi Park community commemorates the deceased of the Turkey protests

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A scheduled concert was canceled on June 6 out of respect for the memory of those who died following the brutal police crackdowns against demonstrations. AA photo

A scheduled concert was canceled on June 6 out of respect for the memory of those who died following the brutal police crackdowns against demonstrations. AA photo

Memorials for the deaths of three protesters marked the 10th day of the protests in Taksim Gezi Park, as a scheduled concert was canceled out of respect for the memory of those who died following the brutal police crackdowns against demonstrations.

During the ceremony, the crowd chanted "he lives" as the names of the deceased protesters were read over a megaphone. Carnations were put in front of banners in their memory.

Mehmet Ayvalıtaş, a 20-year-old who was hit by a car during the protests in Istanbul, became the first casualty of the protests on June 2. Abdullah Cömert, 22, was killed the next day during clashes in Antakya when a tear-gas canister exploded as it hit his head. Ethem Sarısülük, who was allegedly shot by a police officer in Ankara, died after being declared brain dead on June 5, increasing the number of casualties to three.

A group of academics also marched to Taksim Square to lend their support to the protests and condemn the brutal police crackdown against protesters. "State officials in democracies should try to listen to their citizens of all social identities or political views, instead of trying to control and discipline them," a spokesperson of the group said in a statement after the march.

Artists held another march to Gezi Park after gathering at the famous Galatasaray Square, which stands near the historical Emek Theater, which is set to be demolished and rebuilt as the top floor of a shopping mall that will replace the old building.

"We came here to show that we are side by side with demonstrators and believe in that this struggle is just. As stage actors, movie actors, painters and other artists we support the demonstrators," said veteran musician Ali Rıza Binboğa.

Meanwhile the community at the park soared for another day as the festive mood dominated following the withdrawal of the police. The crowd continued their creative protests, usually turning the statements of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan into devastating satirical jokes.  A number of them were coined after he referred to protesters as "marauders" (çapulcu in Turkish). The Gezi Park supporters quickly adopted the expression to refer to themselves, calling whatever they did to feed the demonstrations "chapulling."

For "chapullers" preparing their approaching exams, the setting was more studious as small classrooms were set up to allow them to work at the park. Classes in mathematics, physics and biology were provided with the slogan "The name of the classroom is the people, our lesson is freedom."

A playground was prepared for younger "chapullers" coming to the park with their families.

Ankara 'chapulled' freely without police brutality

The protesters in Ankara  had an incident-free night after being discouraged once again June 5 by fierce repression by police armed with tear gas and water cannons.

Protesters took Kuğulu Park and the central Kızılay Square, as a "chapulling party" was organized during the evening hours. Lawmakers from opposition parties are also expected to take part in the protests.

June/07/2013

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