Every day I’m chapuling

Concerning the ongoing protests in Istanbul…

I’ve been meaning to write up blog entries… but my life has been so abnormal for the past two weeks I can hardly seem to put a coherent thought together! And there is so much to this protest – so many things leading up to it, so many different people who are out there, and then so much that’s happened, how it’s changed and continues to change that I don’t know how to think of it myself, let alone try to put it down on paper.

It’s a bizarre rollercoaster for the emotions as well. Tuesday morning I got a call from my housemate who had slept at the park the night before, as he was running up the hill from the police as rubber bullets were wizzing by his legs, then I had to go to a meeting after work, so I couldn’t go to Taksim – but after the meeting sat in a bar in tears watching what was going on – it was horrible, I couldn’t believe it. Calling all of my friends who were there to make sure they were okay. Wednesday night at the square everyone was afraid and my nerves going haywire watching the hundreds of police surrounding the park and square. But then Thursday night, after Erdogan’s 24 hour ultimatum to clear the park was already over, watching thousands and thousands of people still coming to the park, some with their kids, a chain of old women shouting “anneler burada!” (mothers are here!), a piano concert, people dancing… While bewildered riot police thugs surround the square leaning on their shields awaiting orders.

Some guy explaining to me in Turkish that normally he doesn’t care for foreigners but seeing that I’d been hit by a canister and was still out protesting, and that it’s not my country but was out helping the Turks, he had a hard time expressing how happy he was that I was there, that he would build a house and invite me to it and give me tea and dinner…
Then my students who support the government laughing because they saw some video of the footage from the mosque where wounded were being treated and they saw footage of me in there and they thought it was funny. Or fearing that I won’t be asked back to my job because of differing political views.

Crazy days.