This weekend, the ongoing street battle between the people of Istanbul, Turkey and their shockingly violent police force flared up again. Once more, tear gas, water canons, batons, and rubber bullets were used to injure peaceful protesters as a new wave of dissent has gripped the city.
It’s been over a month since the debut article of Rebel Metropolis. In that piece, I covered a bit of the emerging Right to the City movement, with an specific focus on the turmoil in Istanbul that sprung from a fight to save the last public green space in the heart of the city. Since then, a mass revolt has spread across Turkey. Thousands of citizens have been beaten by police, five were killed, and dozens of journalists have been arrested or fired for coverage empathetic with the people in the streets.
There has been some good news. Under mass pressure, judges have seemingly blocked the destruction of Gezi Park from a plan to replace the common space with yet another auto-centric shopping mall. It is unknown how long this judicial decision will hold, as the the president’s ruling AK party is already looking for ways to override the court order.