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Davidu

Riots in Turkey

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It started with a protest against the destruction of a central park in Istanbul (in order to build a shopping center) and then spread out to a whole lot of social strata due to police heavy hand.

 

http://occupygezipics.tumblr.com/

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22744728

 

I guess a simple search on the main news websites will tell you all it is to know about it. Interestingly the military is sheltering and helping the protesters without leaving the barracks. Remember the Turkish Army is at serious odds with the current administration for imprisoning lots of officers. Also, it had been reported that Turkey has the most journalists imprisoned in the world, above even China. So now the whole turkish media is NOT reporting anything about the riots, trying to contain the information spread. It didn't work though as the whole thing spread to all the major cities. 

 

Also you'll see on the tumblr site some pictures with a bridge full of people, other internet sources claiming it's 400 000 new protesters crossing the Bosphorus into the central area (the area with the park and the Taksim Square).

 

I am curious what will happen next, as Turkey, unlike many other muslim countries, managed to remain secular in administration and state and have a working democracy. Until this administration, that is...

 

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This could be extremely important, and it might have an impact far beyond the borders of Turkey. Prime Minister Erdogan and the ruling "Justice and Development" Party (AKP) are not simply representatives of soft Islamism. They also represent two other things:

1. They are committed to neoliberalism - meaning privatization, deregulation and free-market capitalism - in addition to having a religious conservative agenda. In other words, they are more or less the Muslim version of the Republican Party in the US, or the Bharatiya Janata Party in India. They are the Turkish representatives of a worldwide political trend (an alliance of big business and religious conservatism) that has dominated politics in many countries for the past 20-30 years. If they fall in a popular revolution, this could spell the beginning of the end for that particular brand of politics. And what a glorious day that would be!

2. The AKP are also the explicit political model for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and for most of the other soft-Islamist parties that have come to power across the Arab world as a result of the Arab Spring. Erdogan has been consciously promoting "Ottomania" for the past few years (a cultural fascination with Turkey's imperial past), and it's pretty obvious that he has ambitions to rule not just Turkey, but the entire Middle East. A popular uprising could stop this attempted Ottoman revival before it even gets off the ground.

A lot depends on the political character of the protesters, though. We know they oppose Erdogan and the AKP, but why? Are they just secularists upset about all the recent religious conservative policies, or are they also fighting against neoliberal economics?

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There's a lot of factors in it. I mean people resent him for being heavy handed, crushing freedom of speech, imprisoning his opponents, journalists, officers, whomever he perceives as a threat to him. Also new anti-alcohol rules, rules against display of affection in public, economic schemes for his friends, etc.

 

Basically people want secularism. Apparently Kemalism is still strong even if the polls gave the power to Erdogan for the past 10 years. I was reading that people in the protests are mainly young or middle aged middle class people, educated, also minorities (kurds, greeks, armenians), both right wing and left wing, and even some anti-capitalist muslims. 

 

On the other hand there are people in civilian clothes walking side by side with the police carrying sticks, batons and knives reportedly being either AK Party supporters or the rumored Operation Gladio operatives.

 

We have to see what the Army does, as Ataturk left the Army as the guardian of secularism and the republic, which empowered many military coups against governments seen as either too islamic or too leftist. Right now as I said the Army is aiding the protesters by giving them gas masks, first aid kits, or by treating the wounded and sheltering people in the barracks. 

 

The thing is I want to look for a job in Istanbul next year. So... I hope they settle down soon.

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The situation is really strange Erdogan get some money from a mafia lord to build a commercial centre instead of a park so finally his little opposition (communist, kurds etc) got something to persuade common turks to go against Erdogan. Erdogan usually just gives money away (even robbing Turks in Germany to give to Turks in Turkey) to get votes, so the street guy had the money and didn't care about kurds being killed and military support to pedorebels in Libya. But now is different. Opposition can say "ehi watch, that guy is destroying your city for building a huge piece of crap with your money!". Still many supporter of Erdogan did oceanic gathering in plazes. For saying what, that the commercial centre is a good idea? No, that Erdogan is good. They didn't even bother to defend the commercial centre. After that opposition understood that fighting each other is not a good idea: there are too many retards that support whatever Erdogan does only because....he is Erdogan...he could even force state atheism...those kind of supporters are not different of Berlusconi's ones that gathered crying "we are all whores!". I mean if a politician of your country is caught stealing or raping how many of you will go in plazes saying "we are all thiefs/rapers"?????

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There are idiots everywhere. But it wasn't the opposition that initiated the protests. As many protests around the globe right now, the participants are not politically involved. They do have their own political beliefs and stuff, but they're not part of any party. That is a new thing as the people in power do not have a "head" to talk to or bargains to strike.

 

Also in Istanbul when the opposition parties wanted to come and "help" the protesters they were thrown out, because the people on the streets don't want to change the ruling party with the opposition party and keep the system intact, they want to change the system. If possible...

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There are idiots everywhere. But it wasn't the opposition that initiated the protests. As many protests around the globe right now, the participants are not politically involved. They do have their own political beliefs and stuff, but they're not part of any party. That is a new thing as the people in power do not have a "head" to talk to or bargains to strike.

 

They are politically involved, but that's exactly what Erdogan and such ones don't like - they don't want people "politically involved" outside of conventional parties, nations or other units they allow into their club. There is a sense of common understanding between them, expected behaviors. Anything coming from outside of party-based politics is for them a mob, an unfair strike orchestrated by the opposition, an antidemocratic rebellion, and, primarily, a threat.

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