Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Perspective Of Gezi Park From An Old Turkish Hippie


In the mid-1970s I was working in the Kosmos, Amsterdam's meditation center, and I hadn't figured out I was gay yet. I was in love with this beautiful Dutch woman who was one of the directors of the center. I was kind of shy but asked her out on a date. She asked me if I'd like to come over to her apartment for dinner. I was thrilled. When I got there, a strange local hippie who played sitar at the center, Omar, was helping prepare dinner. He, it turned out, was the boyfriend. We've been friends ever since.

He didn't call himself Omar back then; he still doesn't. And he never told anyone he was from Turkey. He really was more an international hippie than a Turk anyway, but I had the feeling that, as the scion of an old aristocratic Ottoman family-- he has the deed to the Library of Rhodes (which includes an ancient Greek manuscript with an original formula for geometry or trigonometry or something like that); in fact, his family ruled Rhodes for a time-- he couldn't tolerate the way Europeans look down on Turkish guest workers.

Today his family isn't thrilled with him. He left Turkey when he was still a teenager... and never looked back. He's lived in Switzerland, Holland and the U.S. and traveled all over the world... in a VW van. He gave up millions of dollars to pursue his music and his philosophy and lifestyle. One of the last times I was in Istanbul, I went to visit Omar's very elderly mother, who lived in a wonderful old house just across the street from Gezi Park, one of my favorite places in Istanbul since I first visited in 1969. Omar lives in Colorado now-- still a hippie-- and I asked him for his impression of what's going on in his old neighborhood. His response:
Not everyone agrees with the attitude of the elected government. Freedom seekers (even though they don't really know what real freedom is) based on their survival needs, mostly the lower middle class, or young intellectual students, rebel to the oppressive governments all around the world, all the same. There were peaceful demonstrations about the Wall Street or as such banking industry about a year ago. Demonstrations started peacefully but got harsh response from the police and turned into riots.  Bottom line is about GREED.

Here's a funny insight about greed: Let's say a rich man has $100 million, he thinks that's nothing, in fact he feels rather poor and wants another 100 million and pretty much goes out of his way to get it.  In other words NEVER satisfied or stops with what's enough, period.  In a money worshipping world richer the person the more respected.  Governments support that! And of course rich persons create jobs for the needy and they're appreciated for that, but because of bad economy that's caused by greed, the employees' needs aren't always met, therefore the rebellion comes about; of course the employees are not satisfied with what they get either. And there's always the illusion/dreams of a better life ahead. Life goes on, Peace in the world is not attained unless people are no longer raised on GREED and FEAR.

I personally don't know the very details of Gezi Park. Perhaps you know better. The present government is supposed to be turning conservative and religious etc. Conservatism is because of need for more control, and that's every government's agenda. They fear that people will get out of control and there will be chaos and no government, etc. As I understand it was a peaceful demonstration to begin with but the prime minister gets insulted and tells the police to be rough on them to discourage further demonstrations and people get killed etc.

To live in peace is not in the agenda of nations until everyone realizes that we all come from one source of love and that we have to compassionately accept everyone with their differences and when everyone is a loving/responsible being there won't be need for controlling power agents, there won't be fear and mistrust but cooperation to build a better world that comes from the attitude of living in the heart of hearts, instead of greed and competition. Now it's all about ego defending an ideal and judging that his way is right and the other is wrong and believe that one does justice by aggression and oppression. Violence and aggression is already wrong to begin with and leaves the problem without any better solution.

Even the French revolution which was needed at that time didn't change a whole lot, same hypocrisy continues in different forms and systems.

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