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kottke.org posts about Turkey

What is happening in Istanbul?

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 03, 2013

Small protests in Istanbul over the past few days have erupted into what’s becoming a typical scene across the world: authoritarian governments attempting to crack down on a citizenry agitating for increased freedom.

No newspaper, no television channel was there to report the protest. It was a complete media black out.

But the police arrived with water cannon vehicles and pepper spray. They chased the crowds out of the park.

In the evening the number of protesters multiplied. So did the number of police forces around the park. Meanwhile local government of Istanbul shut down all the ways leading up to Taksim square where the Gezi Park is located. The metro was shut down, ferries were cancelled, roads were blocked.

Yet more and more people made their way up to the center of the city by walking.

They came from all around Istanbul. They came from all different backgrounds, different ideologies, different religions. They all gathered to prevent the demolition of something bigger than the park:

The right to live as honorable citizens of this country.

They gathered and marched. Police chased them with pepper spray and tear gas and drove their tanks over people who offered the police food in return. Two young people were run over by the panzers and were killed.

To keep up with events in Turkey, try Occupy Gezi’s Tumblr and Facebook page.

Turkish temple older than civilization

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 22, 2010

An archeological find in Turkey, believed to be a temple built 11,500 years ago that predates “villages, pottery, domesticated animals, and even agriculture”, suggests religion created civilization and not the other way around.

Most startling is the elaborate carving found on about half of the 50 pillars Schmidt has unearthed. There are a few abstract symbols, but the site is almost covered in graceful, naturalistic sculptures and bas-reliefs of the animals that were central to the imagination of hunter-gatherers. Wild boar and cattle are depicted, along with totems of power and intelligence, like lions, foxes, and leopards. Many of the biggest pillars are carved with arms, including shoulders, elbows, and jointed fingers. The T shapes appear to be towering humanoids but have no faces, hinting at the worship of ancestors or humanlike deities.

Photos and more from Smithsonian magazine and Wikipedia.