‘Is this a PKK flag, kids?’/’No, auntie, it is LGBT’

‘Is this a PKK flag, kids?’/’No, auntie, it is LGBT’

PINAR ÖĞÜNÇ pinar.ogunc@radikal.com.tr
They are asking: How did these people get together? Those who do not want to see (actually what is pretty obvious) the reason for the coming together of so many people who are otherwise unable to come together politically and class-wise have overloaded their imaginations. They are looking for a guy here and there, in Houston, sitting on his leather swivel chair pushing a button. They are talking about zellos, mellos; and that those on the streets were being paid. Foreign focal points are being sought; they are trying to deport a few Erasmus students as agents. They are funny.

Because they have dedicated their energy to generating conspiracy theories and to defaming this voice, they totally miss the more important point. Are those people who have gathered in Gezi Park and all the others who have met in other town squares of Turkey where police did not intervene, are they the same people of 10 days ago? I think the number of cities where no demonstration has taken place, no forum conducted, no speaker’s corner set up, no pots and pans banged is just about five or six. Those people who have touched each other over there, are they the same as the day they started?

Those attempts to blackout the roots of this movement, in its best known form, are being made by using the “immoral” card. The muezzin of the mosque that was tuned into an infirmary at the time when police violence was at its heaviest personally said nobody drank beer inside, but the rumor was spread intentionally. It is quite hard to comprehend how this has reached into “group sex” claims, this much malignancy, how life is regarded through this much focus on reproduction. But, what happened on the Night of the Miraj? What is to be defended is that everybody lives the life they prefer to live; nobody made any demands, nobody put any “bans” (this is against the spirit anyway) but not one person among the 50,000 drank alcohol. This was done with a political persistence.

A person can only shape his prejudices into the pretext of observation if that person is sitting in his room and not out in the square. By looking at the Turkish flags and focusing on the “soldiers of Mustafa Kemal” they will try to monotype the movement; they refuse to see the proclamations coming from the same place of “We will not be anybody’s soldiers. We are Mustafa Keser’s soldiers.” Moreover, they do not recognize how a portion of the “extreme nationalists” have transformed in the last 10 days.

An elderly lady asked, “Kids, is this the PKK flag?” A lesbian answered her, “No aunty, it is the LGBT flag.” The lady walked away saying “Oh, all right.” Those who are still looking from this point are not aware of the value of this. No matter what, they are also not aware that hundreds of Turks have changed their ideas about the Kurdish movement and they are also not aware of the sincere confessions and even apologies of hundreds of Turks.

Yes, despite everything, there are still those who have goosebumps when they see the picture of Öcalan. For days, they do not understand that the mass has such a power. They do not look into the meaning of the meeting of the old school left tradition with the young opposition. They do not grasp the importance, when a young woman takes a book from the library and says, “It is weird I do not give anything in return,” that she is discovering the outside of the egocentrism she was born into. They do not have time to understand those who arrive from work with their ties, the stir in the plazas, the labor neighborhoods, the malls that have been subject to actions, the capital that apologizes, the mainstream media, and what this mixture can create.

The Armenians have written, “You have taken our cemetery; you will not be taking our park,” reminding that Gezi Park was once an Armenian Cemetery. Can the racist that passes past this sign be the same? If he is there the next day, that means he is not.

There are some who try to categorize this attempt as apolitical. They may be disorganized but this is the most political people’s movement in the Turkish history. Do not underestimate the first time people are touching each other. This persistence beyond logic has rewarded Turkey with an experience of co-existence and an accelerated democracy workshop. Despite all the provocation, it is important that this is protected and spread with a politic determination. Because it is clearer now that where the prime minister stands is not a point that could be explained within logic.

Pınar Öğünç is a columnist for daily Radikal in which this piece was published on June 7. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.