Elif Batuman writes about Gezi in The New Yorker in her usual spare, colorful and insightful style. She talks about how after the riot police cleared the park, the government’s gardeners worked all night long to plant two hundred and two thousand new flowers, five thousand rosebushes, and a hundred and twenty-nine “mature trees” (fifty-two maple, thirty-six magnolia, twenty-one lime, and twenty oleander) in the small park. When the park reopened, “too many” people showed up, so the police drove them out with such force that a seventeen-year-old boy, hit in the head with a gas canister, suffered a brain hemorrhage. Dozens of people were taken into police custody. Young people are now being rounded up from their homes and dormitories and hauled off to jail under terrorism laws that don’t require the state to tell anyone anything about them — what they’re charged with, where they are….
And then there’s Yiğit Bulut, a former television personality who has just been made PM Erdogan’s new chief advisor. He stated that he believes the protests are a giant telekinetik attack by dark forces plotting to kill Erdogan. (Really, you can’t make this stuff up!) One can imagine it as a kind of technophobia direct out of a Hitchcock film — Bulut imagining millions of social media users tweeting insults directly into the prime minister’s head to make it explode. It’s enough to make you scream.