Workers in Taksim

I was wrong. The government led (some) workers go to Taksim Square.

Since my childhood, on every My 1st same things have been happening. Workers want to celebrate the May Day in Taksim Square.  Because of May 1 1977 Masaccre government doesn’t let them enter to the area. When they insist police forces attack to demonstrators by batons, tear gas and water cannons. The square and it’s around turn to battle place. Same thing also happened last year.

However, the government announced that May 1st would be a holiday this year. This was a hopeful news. Maybe the Labor Day would be celebrated peacefuly in this time. When I woke up at 4 am I looked at the on-line news. Unfortunately not much things has been changed. Police were chasing, biting people and using pressurized water and tear gas again. So I published same cartoon that I drew last year: Placing Police in the Republic Monument in Taksim Square. When I sent this cartoon to my friends they loved it last year and I think it was the most powerful idea to explain the situation. The state was protecting the square that had become a taboo against worker’s movement. The monement was a symbol of the government.

After few hours sleeping I checked my e-mails. One of my friends, Soner, wrote me that Cartoonist Latif Demirci drew same idea  in Hurriyet,  Turkey’s most circulated newspaper. Actually, I knew drawing similar jokes happens many times in cartoon world but I was upset a little bit. I had been drawn the cartoon before him but I could share it with only few friends. 

In Turkey, events and agendas change so quickly. When I looked at the news about the May Day again, I saw that the government had led limited numbers of workers to the Taksim Square. Few hundreds of selected people by the worker’s unions and some politicians were around the monument. Some of them had climbed on it and waved banners and flags peacefully, in police control. So neither my cartoon nor Latif’s one were valid anymore. 

While the lucky minority was celebrating the Labor Day peacefully in the square, I knew that many people who wanted to enter to Taksim were being bitten, gassed, and arrested by the police. Then, I drew this short animation that shows out of the picture.

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