Tag Archives: #taksim

Poem 54 In Solidarity: Taksim

Helmuth A. Niederle


Wenn so eine Zeit kommt
in der das Aussprechen des freien Wortes
gefährlich wird
Wenn die Zeit gekommen ist
für Wasserwerfer, Tränengas und Schlagstöcke
Wenn so eine Zeit kommt
die Menschen von öffentlichen Plätzen vertreibt
Wenn die Zeit gekommen ist
in der Polizisten ordentlich
Jagd auf Demonstranten machen

wird es für die Machthaber gefährlich:
Es ist die Zeit gekommen
in der das Träumen verboten ist
und die Menschen erst recht zu träumen wagen!

Helmuth A. Niederle was born in Vienna and is a fiction writer, editor and poet. He contributed to “Catechism. Poems for Pussy Riot”. His last publication was “Trakt geräumt. verba in angustiis. Lyrik”. Helmuth A. Niederle lives in Vienna.


Poem 39 in Solidarity: from “Atlas”

by Suzanne Gardinier

from “Atlas” 


These streets / Whose / No meetings permitted / Streets with drifts of blossom but no fruit

Streets clamoring with heretic voices / Untamed and tamed and untamed again

A house to evict you A market to confiscate / A map to make you lose your way

Will you punish me for history she says / What will you undertake he says


And these words / Used to make the bindings / And to cut them Made merchandise Cheap as piss

As breath / Every crevice with its message not yet / translated Caught in the city’s throat

A writ of eviction Of emancipation / This poem with an illegible address

Paper kiss Paper yoke Recipes / Leaflets on the backs of bills of sale


If you can say it so I can hear you / If I can listen If we can find

If you recognize him If you keep her near you / If the water comes slowly enough

If there’s time

If / Two letters to stand for what’s possible / Written on the jacket of the split winter bud

In the fabric of language Common as dirt / If / May / Come the morning / Might have been / Might be


The terms of keeping a heart strong for fighting / To laugh in the smoke by the place of exchange

All right Later she says Instead of I’m done now / And he says See you girlfriend instead of goodbye

How they break the compact that keeps them strangers / How she learns her own ears from the sound of his voice

Her letters among others they find when they take him / Written on his tongue and the palms of his hands


For that we kept beside each other /  In a place they said wasn’t ready yet

For that I knew you Your verve and persistence / Your laugh in the pit Your dance in the yoke

As you made your living The traces lasting / generations in all directions

As you locked arms and turned in the wind of destruction / Toward what you lived for / A glimpse of a free place

For the flesh In its clenched or loosened beauty / In its integrity In its needs

For the streets From a place for buying and selling / To a place to unlearn to mistake your face

And for words Baby I’ma help tear this shit / up / End to swindled end / Tear it down

To the free place to come and all flesh / shall see it together / Come the day

Poverty- the real root of terrorism

Poverty- the real root of terrorism

Suzanne Gardinier  is a writer who has been trying to learn the meaning of the word ‘solidarity’ since she was sixteen.  She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives between Manhattan and Havana.


Poem 38 in Solidarity: Para as insurrectas/os turcos (For the Insurgent Women of Turkey)

By Chus Pato

Para as insurrectas/os turcos 

miles pisando as rúas
as prazas os parques da Terra
Que as palabras sexan a poeira erguida
os pés que latexan na liberdade do planeta
Comeza de novo a grande saúde
a maior virtude
e más ledo saber
na cunca da mao
parque Gezi
fronteira franca
Unha era dá cabo de si
Se es bala organizas o campo
Isto sucede agora
cando ti o les
Permanentemente psíquicos
os corpos

For the Insurgent Women of Turkey
 (translated by Erín Moure from Galician)

thousands on foot in the streets
in the squares the parks of the earth
May these words be rising dust
feet that beat in the freedom of the planet
may superb health break out anew
the highest virtue
and happiest knowledge
Close by
in the cup of the hand
Gezi Park
a clear line drawn
An era ushers itself to an end
is fulfilled
If you’re a bullet you organize the countryside
This happens now
while you’re reading
Permanently psychic

Chus Pato

Chus Pato

Chus Pato (Galicia, 1955) has published ten books of poems: Urania (Ourense: Calpurnia, 1991), Heloísa (A Coruña: Espiral Maior, 1994), Fascinio (Muros: Toxosoutos, 1995), Nínive (Vigo: Edicións Xerais, 1996), A ponte das poldras (Santiago de Compostela: Noitarenga, 1996; 2ª ed.: Vigo: Galaxia, 2006), m-Talá (Vigo: Edicións Xerais, 2000), Charenton (Vigo: Edicións Xerais, 2003), Hordas de escritura (Vigo: Edicións Xerais, 2008), Secesión ( Vigo: Galaxia, 2009) and Carne de leviatán (Vigo: Galaxia, 2013). Four of her books have appeared in English, translated by Erín Moure: From m-Talá (Vancouver: Nomados, 2003, selected from m-Talá, 2000), Charenton (Exeter & Ottawa: Shearsman Books & BuschekBooks, 2007), m-Talá (Exeter & Ottawa: Shearsman Books & BuschekBooks, 2009), and Hordes of Writing (Exeter & Ottawa, Shearsman Books & BuschekBooks, 2011). Secession is currently in translation. Nínive was awarded the Losada Diéguez Prize; Hordas de escritura received the Spanish National Critics’ Prize and the Losada Diéguez. She has given readings all over Europe, as well as in Morocco, Argentina, and Canada.

Erín Moure  is a translator from French, Spanish, Galician, and Portuguese and the author of fourteen books of poetry. She has received the Governor General’s Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the A. M. Klein Prize, and has been a three-time finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize. She lives in Montreal. Visit Erín Moure’s blog for her book The Unmemntioablehttp://unmemntioable.wordpress.com/Visit

Poem 24 In Solidarity: Nazim Hikmet’s Çankiri Prison, 1938

Tr. Joshua Weiner

ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff A Version

Today is Sunday.
Today, for the first time, they let me go out into the sun.
And I stood there I didn’t move,
struck for the first time, the very first time ever:
how far away from me the sky is
ffffffffffffffffff how blue it is
ffffffffffffffffff how wide.
I sat down, in respect, in awe, I sat down on the ground,
I leaned my back against the wall.
In this moment, there were no waves to fall into;
in this moment, there was no liberty, and no wife, my wife.
There was only the earth beneath me, the sun above me, and me.
And how I am grateful, I am happy, to have this thing I call my life.

Poem copyright © 2013 by Joshua Weiner. Reprinted from “The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish,” University of Chicago Press, 2013, by permission of the author.

Joshua Weiner -Ralph Alswang Photographerwww.ralphphoto.com202-487-5025Joshua Weiner is the author of three books of poetry, most recently, The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish (Chicago, 2013). He is also the poetry editor of Tikkun magazine. A professor of English at the University of Maryland, he lives with his family in Washington DC.

The Aesthetics of Resistance

by Burhan Sönmez

Originally published in Birgün, 13.06.2013.
Tranlated from Turkish by Duygu Tekgül for Solidarity Park Poetry.


The barricade built by protesters and named after Abdullah Cömert in Gümüşsuyu – 07.06.2013. Image by Duygu Tekgül.

  1. Stars shine better in utmost darkness. Stars are shining everywhere against the darkness of this country.
  2. Homeless teenagers living in the Taksim area have been asking how long the resistance is going to last, because apparently they’re treated to meals thanks to the communal life of the protesters there. The same government that makes a fuss over alcohol consumption within 100 metres of mosques has no qualms about people with empty stomachs within 100-metre radius of mosques.
  3. Historical events are etched in memories with their outstanding features. The life that took shape in Taksim in two weeks has sowed the seeds of Utopia in this country.
  4. Everyone is enjoying the camaraderie and freedom. No one is being patronizing and everybody is wearing their colours of life free of restraint. While the Anticapitalist Muslims perform their prayers, atheists keep watch around them. The Kurds dance their halay, Alevis whirl in their ritual dance, semah, Turks chant military marches. Socialists, LGBTs, fans of Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray teams roll up their sleeves together, have fun together and keep an eye on each other. Everyone’s freedom is guarded by everyone else.
  5. No one is in need, everyone is equal. People donate what “they don’t need” and everyone takes what “they need.” No money, no ownership, no hungry people.
  6. At Gezi Park, we’re experimenting with statelessness. Witnessing the happy and civil state of affairs in this enclave is a blessing.
  7. For the first time in our history, humour and joy have become the language of resistance. While dissident groups have always resisted through sheer force and to the death, now we express ourselves with the light and witty language that goes beyond sour words.
  8. The state may defeat hardliner rebels. But there are no tools available to the holders of political power to defeat humour and joy. That is why theirs is a hopeless case. They’re not fooling anyone.
  9. The Paris Commune lasted for seventy two days. With enthusiasm, we brought to life the same principles in two weeks. When the Commune was violently destroyed, liberals and bourgeois intellectuals were discussing the inconsistencies, weaknesses and faults of the Commune. Marx, in protest, pointed out the potentials for the future: ownership and exploitation were done away with and direct democracy was given a chance.
  10. Sheikh Bedreddin’s legacy for us is twofold. For one thing, he joined the popular uprising. Secondly, he believed in equality and sharing. Thomas More’s Utopia and Ibn Tufail’s Hayy ibn Yaqdhan inhabited the same dream world. And we’re living that dream as well.
  11. We’re pointing at a good example: Look, what we’re doing is good. But the government and its trumpeters prefer to see our pointing fingers instead and are desperate to badmouth us. They intend to undermine the movement by setting us against each other. We won’t give up: look at the direction where we’re pointing. You’ll see the trees and the sea there.
  12. We love the red of revolution; we strive to save the green. The same people who have written this message across walls have named a bus stop “Stop to Contemplate the Sky,” in a salute to dead poets.
  13. We’re grateful to these young people; they dashed in when things looked really grim and saved humanity on the precipice. Those who think them selfish and ignorant are mistaken. As the protesters named each of the eleven barricades set up in Gümüşsuyu, they spelt the name of Abdullah Cömert, who passed away last week, on one of them. And later, on the last barricade that overlooks the sea, they wrote, in a noble act, the name of the late revolutionary Deniz Gezmiş in giant letters.
  14. People are nothing on their own, but they mean everything when they band together. If we don’t get what we want, the interest lobby is going to turn our city – and our life – into a desert. For them, history is merely “pottery” or it is good for nothing but revenue; they worship money and nothing else.
  15. They want us to dry up without trees and water like those innocents in Karbala. We know that they shed tears for Karbala while eating from the same table as Yazid. That is why we celebrate water and trees before the desert and life before death.
  16. They go on and on about vandalism. The destruction of Gezi Park, doesn’t that count as vandalizing? We claim public property in the most peaceful manner and we repeat: Do not damage public property!
  17. What is at stake here is not only opposing an idea but also demanding something else. Solidarity and cooperation bring about companionship. With this high-octane energy, the country made gains beyond the measure of any stock index. This alone should suffice to declare the area a site.
  18. People are not customers. We need to sustain what we’ve achieved to keep this relevant. We could hold Fraternity and Solidarity festivals every year on 31st May. A festivity of freedom where everyone participates in their own colour; a world of equality where money is obsolete. Everyone brings in what “they don’t need” and everyone takes away “what they need.”  This is what people long for, in order to counteract the fear of big money.
  19. A poet reminds us that the dead need to be counted in the population of Istanbul. To honour the beautiful dead, we must ensure the city is protected for those who will live here in the future.
  20. Youngsters have put it very aptly in graffiti: “Even if we lose, we’ll have the sweet aftertaste of revolt.”
  21. We’ve learned a lot, we’ve translated all our past resistance and dreams into a new language. We have written our past on a clean slate.
  22. Hope, dream, utopia! And revolt! Like a poem a youth reads out loud in the square: “With you, we rewrote all of our love stories on a clean slate.”

* Protester Abdullah Cömert died in Antakya on 4 June 2013 during clashes with police.

Burhan Sönmez

Burhan Sönmez

Burhan Sönmez was born in Haymana in central Turkey. After graduating from the Faculty of Law at the University of Istanbul he practiced law for several years. He has contributed to various newspapers and magazines on issues of culture, politics and religion. His first novel North was published in 2009. His second novel The Innocents (2011) received the prestigious Sedat Simavi Literature Award.  Sönmez is a member of Turkish PEN. The Turkish version of his article “The Aesthetics of Resistance” was published in Birgün newspaper.

Duygu Tekgül was born in Antalya in southern Turkey. She studied Translation at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. She did an MA in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University and a PhD in Sociology at the University of Exeter. She has translated and copy-edited several books for Turkish publishing houses and has worked for National Geographic Turkey as a translator. She currently teaches translation and does research in Cultural Studies.


A great post about a great show of solidarity from a great woman.

From: http://everywheretaksim.net/joan-baez-has-a-message-to-turkish-resisters/



World-renowned American musician, folk singer and activist Joan Baez sent out a message to Turkey during her concert to an audience of thousands in Fairfax, Virginia last night.
The concert had started with the performance of Indigo Girls, with the attendance of an enthusiastic group of thousands of people from all ages.

Joan Baez, who had during the day stated, from her facebook account, her intention to support the People’s resistance in Turkey, read out her personal message and dedicated the folk song “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”, that was originally an Indian hymn, to the Turkish People.

Her message was:

“Dear Turkish People,
I would like to express my support for the Turkish citizens, lawyers, doctors, youngsters families, students, the people with belief in their heart, who are fighting courageously and peacefully to preserve the heart of your culture, the beauty of your land, and the soul of your people.
Your voice has been heard everywhere, and I am greeting you now.”

Baez, her message having received a vigorous response from the audience, then went on to sing her song:

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
Swing low, sweet chariot.
Coming for to carry me home.

Well if you get there before I do,
Coming for to carry me home.
Tell all my friends, I’m coming too,
Coming for to carry me home.

And I looked over yonder and what did I see,
Coming for to carry me home?
So a band, a band of angels, it was coming for me,
Coming to carry me home.

Swing low, swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
Swing low, swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me, you, us, them home.”

Poem 5 In Solidarity: Behind The Curtain

by K. Satchidanandan

Behind The Curtain

In the last scene that takes place
behind the curtain, a jealous lover-king
abandons Sakuntala for good,
people take up Mephisto’s triumphal chant,
Macbeth’s ambition rises from the dead,
Nora comes back asking for pardon
quietly opening a door she had closed with a bang,
the Governor regains his power
to claim back his son and
sentence Grusha to death.

Behind the curtain
murder always lurks,
like the dictator
behind every revolution.

(Translated from the Malayalam by the poet )

Photo by Pieter Vandemeer, Poetry International 2012.

Photo by Pieter Vandemeer, Poetry International 2012.

K.Satchidanandan is perhaps the most translated of contemporary Indian poets , having 23 collections in 18 languages including English, Irish, Arabic, French, German and Italian.atchidanandan writes poetry in Malayalam, and prose in Malayalam and English and has more than 20 collections of poetry besides several books of travel, plays and criticism including five books in English on Indian literature. He has won 27 literary awards.