A few people have written privately asking about Turkey and if I'm safe. I thought I'd do a blog post so you can all see it.
First, I was in the US for most of the unrest. I went on May 16 to deal with some issues with my mom, and a week or so later all hell broke loose. I think trying to follow it from outside the country was worse than being here would have been.
I got back on Thursday, and the next night I went to one of the many park forums that are taking place all around the city. There were definitely plainclothesmen around but no intervention (in the district of Yeniköy, the headman came down with a bunch of goons and police and attacked).
Saturday night there was a demonstration to commemorate the protesters who had died. They came without flags or placards, just red carnations. They were there for an hour or so, then (as usual) right after the evening call to prayer, the police moved in with water cannons and drove the protesters down the main pedestrian street, Istiklak Caddesi. State TV showed a cleared and calm Taksim, but on Istiklal all hell was breaking loose with gas, water cannons into which they'd added pepper spray concentrate, clubs, etc.
I was not down there myself; I spent the night at a friend's house in Harbiye a bit north of there. We only got a very small amount of tear gas, hardly enough to mention. That's okay, I've breathed tear gas on three occasions in the past and that's enough.
It's hard to say where things will go from here, though everyone seems to have their own idea based on their own political leanings and hopes. So all we can do is watch.