Neither Taksim, nor death - MEHMET ŞEKER

Neither Taksim, nor death

Towards the end of the 1950s, there were “Either Taksim, Or Death” rallies being held in Cyprus and Turkey. On one side, the Greeks' Enosis objective, on the other, the “Cyprus is Turkish” slogan.

The Greek side wanted the island to be connected to Greece, while the Turks wanted it to be split up.

The Taksim mentioned in the slogan was not the Taksim in Istanbul.

Years passed, but the Cyprus issue had never been completely resolved.

Even the Kofi Annan plan didn't work out.

As for the new UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon, who replaced Kofi Annan; he has no new plan yet.

Would there be any difference even if we present a new plan everyday to the Greeks, who don't accept the past?

I remembered these on the occasion of May 1st.

Of course it has no direct relation.

Neither in the sense of history nor subject.

However, there is a strong resemblance between the unions' desire for Taksim Square every year due to the May 1st celebrations, and, the “Either Taksim, Or Death” slogan.

May 1st and Taksim Square became identical in Turkey.

During the celebrations in 1977, 34 people died and 140 people were wounded in Taksim.

It's known that there had been gunshots towards the square; however, not even a single perpetrator has been caught.

It's even difficult to claim that it had been investigated enough.

Whoever fired those gunshots and wanted to cover that square in blood had reached their objectives.

They didn't give an account of that.

People died, they continued living.

The first official May 1st celebration in Turkey was in 1923.

Afterwards, developments related with labor rights advanced slowly.

It accelerated in the 1970s, however the bitter experience in 1977 taught us a lot.

Rather than making progress related with labor rights, we had witnessed that it was an important step in the country's drifting towards a civil war.

In 2008, May 1st was accepted as the “Labor and Unity Day”.

In 2009, May 1st was declared as an official holiday.

In 2010, for the first time after 32 years, May 1st celebrations had been permitted in Taksim.

However, police precautions were extremely tight and the surrounding hotels, buildings and streets we being monitored.

In other words, it didn't seem possible to cover the square in blood like in 1977.

In that case, they needed to find another trick, and thus, in 2013, the Gezi Park incidents began.

In display, it seemed innocent; it was an environmentalist movement conducted by the youngsters for a couple of trees.

Or, it had been presented like that.

The “the matter is not a tree, didn't you get it yet?” calling, was the deciphered version of that plan.

The people walking towards the Prime Ministry office were barely stopped.

According to the statements, the government will be overthrown and the “Tall man” would be running away to a foreign land with his ministers.

It didn't work out… The objective didn't work out…. The nation clamped together around the “Tall man”.

This is why there is no permission for May 1st celebrations in Taksim.

Because, Taksim is a symbol.

After the bloody May 1st in 1977, Taksim had been ascribed with a meaning like “the castle in the middle of the old cities which is surrounded by walls”.

No celebration or no demonstration is being permitted there.

However, this is being presented as; “There should be no May 1st celebrations”.

In fact, the desire is to actualize May 1st celebrations in even wider squares.

You cannot expect the personnel, who accepted May 1st as the Labor and Unity Day and declared it as an official holiday, to object to it.

However, the Gezi incidents changed the flow completely.

If the vileness two years ago had not been experienced; maybe May 1st was going to be celebrated in Taksim.

Despite all this, insisting on Taksim would be equal to changing the “Either Taksim, Or Death” slogan 60 years ago into the “Both Taksim and Death” slogan.

However, if we are wise, we will realize that the correct one should be “Neither Taksim, nor Death”.


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