Saying goodbye to the beloved activist dog Eylem

He was immediately named Eylem, Activism, and became the four-legged activist, a comrade, a symbol of resistance

Saying goodbye to the beloved activist dog Eylem

Eylem (Activism) was a 12-year old activist dog.

He came into the Istanbul scene during the Gezi Park resistance of the people against fascism, dictatorship and tyranny. Whenever the people fought against the police, Activist was there to give support and be by the people. He became a symbol of the Gezi resistance, uprising, struggle to protect freedoms and a better world.

The Turkish government wanted to raze down a popular park at the center of Istanbul in 2013. One of very few green open spaces that was left from urban “development” that has left this gem of a city with nothing but ugly concrete blocks. The few trees that was in the park had to go to make way for a shopping mall.

Environmentalists took up the struggle to defend this last patch of nature in an otherwise unlivable urban jungle. The police came to beat them up and brought heavy equipment to take down the trees. Then the leftists showed solidarity and gathered to protect the people’s park. Soon, the defense of a park became an uprising against the capitalist development model, against sharia, against concrete urbanization, against repression and against fascism. Turkish police in the thousands with rubber and plastic bullets, tear-gas, armored trucks, helicopters and water cannons tried to dispel the people from the park and the surrounding neighborhoods. The struggle lasted for months on end.

In all these struggles, the people setup stands that distributed and managed free food, free medical help, free books and free music to demonstrate a people could organize and run a better world without capitalist profiteering. In all these efforts, while being under constant attack of the brutal police force, the resisters included street animals in their struggle. Street pets were fed and looked after as well while free food and water was distributed to whoever wanted to participate. That is when a street dog living in the park entered the resistance. He followed the youth, the leftists and the environmentalists in their defense of the park. That park was his home. And he knew who wanted to protect it. He stood bravely against the police when people were attacked. He was immediately named Eylem, Activism, and became the four-legged activist, a comrade, a symbol of resistance.

Friday night, a vehicle ran over Eylem in the same neighborhood where the park is. A veterinarian was called by the neighbors to help him.  However, he passed away from his injuries.

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