In Istanbul the Turkish Medical Association based in Ankara (the capital) said they had questioned 11,000 people who had been exposed to tear gas from protesting nationwide. These people were exposed for several days in eight-hour increments and now 39 percent are complaining that they are having continuing affects from the tear gas. Another fourteen percent of people stated that they suffered skin irritations and another ten percent reported they felt dizzy and had balance problems. During this protest police officers detained many medical workers and charged them with violating public order. A New York-based organization called Physicians for Human Rights reported that the Turkish security forces used this tear gas excessively and targeted the medical facilities during the protest by firing tear gas straight into faces damaging 11 people’s eyes. The Turkish security officers used 130,000 cartridges of tear gas in twenty days draining the countries whole year supply.
The main useful purpose of tear gas is to terrorize and break up large crowds of people from each other but in Istanbul over the last weeks it has been used over and over again to prevent large anti-government demonstrations from developing. This was not about the riot control because there was no riot to control. This revolt all started in 2010 with the struggles of the specific economic, political and historical situation of the Turkish republic to try and draw out the lessons for all of the countries fighting global capitalism. In turkey, they used the tear gas in an extremely severe and wrong way. The Turkish economy is growing fast being ruled by Erdogan and fuelled by a development boom. The benefits of this growth are only going towards 1% of the population leaving the 99% of the working class across Europe faced with economic crisis. These movements keep spreading across Turkey in enormous demonstrations to get freedom for all.
October 2, 2013