Written by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan:
Journalist Nuh Koklu had been having a snow fight with his friends on the evening of February 18 in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district. The area is known for its relaxed atmosphere and peaceful neighborhood—except for the police’s violent attacks on peaceful protests. During the snow fight, according to the Turkish media, a snowball hit a shop window, angering the shopkeeper.
The shopkeeper, furious over the snowball, went out to attack the youngsters playing in the street. When he was outnumbered and pushed back, he went inside the shop, grabbed a knife and went running after the young people. A member of the group fell to the ground, the shopkeeper attacked, and Nuh went in to protect his friend. The shopkeeper stabbed Nuh Koklu in the heart repeatedly.
Nuh was taken to a hospital nearby, but he had died. The shopkeeper was also taken to a hospital.
Did President Erdoğan’s Rhetoric Have an Effect?
The incident took place not long after Turkish President Erdoğan’s notorious comments regarding the legality of violence applied by shopkeepers. At a speech he gave at the union of shopowners, Erdoğan had said “shopowners of this country are protectors of honor, peace and stability on streets; they are the soldiers, guardians, and police of the streets; when the moment comes they suppress coup attempts.”
Erdoğan’s speech came not long after the trial of the murderers of Ali İsmail Korkmaz, who was beaten to death by police and shopkeepers during Occupy Gezi protests. Rhetoric adopted by government members seems to have a much greater impact on society when it comes to justification of violence and the
legitimacy of monopoly over violence. Nuh Koklu had been a union member and a leading figure in strikes. Although he had been an unemployed journalist lately—like thousands of others—, he has been keeping his audience informed as an independent reporter. The last ever tweet he shared read “Paranoid governments’ biggest fear is a people united; it is time of a univocal reaction to all kinds of troubles now.”
More stories by Gürkan Özturan @ http://theradicaldemocrat.wordpress.com
More stories about Turkey @ http://99getsmart.com/category/turkey/