Why Turks are so angry
June 4th, 2013
12:37 PM ET

Why Turks are so angry

By Jenny White, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Jenny White is professor of anthropology at Boston University and author of Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks. The views expressed are her own.

Turkey is doing well these days. Its banks are solid and, according to the International Monetary Fund, it has the 17th largest economy in the world. As a result of the European Union accession process, Ankara has changed hundreds of its laws and institutions to align them with Europe. Parliament is writing a new constitution to replace the one written under military oversight after the 1980 coup, and many hope it will enshrine liberal individual rights.

So why have tens of thousands of Turks across the country risen up and taken to the streets, battling the police and demanding that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan resign? The protest was ignited by the uprooting of trees in Gezi Park, the only remaining green space in Istanbul’s central Taksim area, to make room for a mall. But it was never just been about the trees.

Superficially, these protests could be put down to secular Turks protesting attacks on their lifestyle by the Islam-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, including recent restrictions on the sale and advertising of alcohol and a Turkish Airlines ban on flight attendants wearing red lipstick. But that sort of analysis trivializes the much deeper and systemic problems that afflict Turkey – and it doesn’t explain the breadth and depth of the protests that quickly spread from cosmopolitan Istanbul to cities across the country, including some of Turkey’s more conservative regions. Yesterday, a 22-year old protester was killed by police in Antakya, a city near the Syrian border in Turkey’s conservative east. Street battles continue today in areas of Istanbul and Ankara. The police have been shooting gas canisters into the crowds indiscriminately and often at close-range, causing serious injuries. Hundreds of protesters have been arrested.

Gezi Park has become emblematic of a much larger malaise and discontent with the increasing autocracy and authoritarian attitude of the ruling party, its disregard for the wishes of the population on many issues, including grandiose urban development schemes that are despoiling the environment and erasing entire historic neighborhoods. Such construction projects are often led by government linked companies like TOKI, and have provoked accusations of corruption.

More from GPS: Turkey in 2013

So for some, Gezi Park was simply the last straw. Many Turks (and, according to a top government official, even members of the AKP) disagree with the government’s Syria policy, particularly with the AKP’s support of al Qaeda-linked and other radical jihadis who are allowed to enter Turkey and cross into Syria at will. An opposition MP from Hatay, the region bordering Syria, told me that Turkey’s Alevis (a syncretistic Muslim sect that differs from Syria’s Alawites, though also has connections to Shi’ism) are leaving the border region in fear of the jihadis. They are also worried that, as the Syrian conflict becomes more and more a fight between Sunni and Shiite factions, Sunni Turks will turn against their fellow Alevi citizens. Even for pious AKP supporters, bringing foreign jihadis onto Turkish soil may have been a step too far.

Grievances abound. Some nationalists are unhappy about the government’s recent peace deal with the separatist Kurdish PKK. Women are enraged by statistics showing an enormous increase in deadly violence against women, while the government closes down women’s shelters and encourages women to stay at home and bear at least three children. At present, Turkey has more journalists in jail than any country in the world and the media has been beaten into self-censorship by massive fines and imprisonment. Hundreds of military officers have been jailed, some on evidence that they were plotting to overthrow the AKP, some on no evidence at all, along with academics, publishers, members of civil society organizations, rock-throwing Kurdish children, Kurdish grandmothers who held posters they could not read, and anyone who had the temerity to criticize the thin-skinned prime minister, even in a cartoon.

More from GPS: Turkey silencing the guns, and critics

The paradox is that the AKP received almost half the vote in the last election. One reason is the party’s spectacular success in improving the country’s economy and infrastructure. This has also permitted the country a new pride based on a vision of the nation as the offspring of the Ottoman Empire: We were once a world power, and we can be one again. Throughout the 20th century, since its founding in 1923, Turkey saw itself as a potential victim of outside powers aiming to undermine national unity and reconquer Turkey, a repeat of World War I, when Europeans dismantled the Ottoman Empire.  Turkey’s non-Muslim minorities were treated with suspicion. The culture and language of Kurds and other non-conforming groups and individuals were banned and worse. The military had no compunction about staging coups to remove elected governments that it saw as representing dissonant views.

After the AKP was first elected in 2002, it attracted voters from across the political spectrum who believed that the party would blend the widespread conservatism of the country with liberal changes and improved rights, especially freedom of religious expression (headscarves had been banned from universities) and freedom of speech. Indeed, AKP initially reinvigorated the EU accession process and passed a new penal code long desired by pious and secular feminists that improved women’s rights. The government stripped the military of the power to interfere in politics and reached out to non-Muslim minorities and Kurds, returning some confiscated properties and restoring changed Kurdish place names.

But, like a rubber band after several years of liberal opening, the AKP has snapped back to what has long been the status quo of strongman autocracy, authoritarianism, patriarchy, and intolerance. These are characteristics that polls show are reflected by the population and characterize the still highly valued traditional family structure. But even an authoritarian father is expected to keep the welfare of his children foremost in mind. And that is where Erdogan has crossed the line. He dismissed the tens of thousands of citizens in the streets initially as purveyors of terror instigated by outsiders, then as “marginals,” as alcoholics, and finally, in perhaps the most revealing statement, as people who have an ideological gripe and who don’t like him personally.

It is the grandiosity of power and the increasingly punitive state that has pushed people onto the streets and keeps them hanging from the windows of their homes every day, banging pots into the night. Even the revered father of the traditional family is expected to care about all this. But Prime Minister Erdogan, after insulting the protesters and refusing to acknowledge that there was any problem whatsoever, instead left for Morocco to attend a trade meeting.

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Topics: Turkey

soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. rightospeak

    First decent article on Turkey. There is no democracy in Turkey as the protester clearly stated. It is very hard to know what really is happening because our media is owned by big oligarchs. They want war profits. Turkey like all other puppets is ruled by Globalists-international bankers so people do not matter.

    June 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Good post, rightospeak. Thank you.

      June 4, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • Kevin MC

      yes, and as you know, much of the state-supportive media is busy fanning lies about destruction by protesters and - Zaman's favorite - "harassment of headscarved women." You're doing wonderful work in the streets and taking compelling photographs that you distribute on social media.

      But I implore all of you to make your voices heard, as you are doing, on international news sites. Your voices and the truth must be heard!

      June 6, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  2. Turkish

    Erdogan is a hypocrit dictator and fascist. He thinks he can dictate how a person should think, how much children he has to get, which religion and lifestyle he should has. Plus, he is a vasall of NATO who wants to move Turkey into war with Syria. Turkish people, especially the modern, mostly urban and educated part wants to live in freedom and peace with his neighbours. So, down with Erdogan and AKP party.

    June 4, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      Erdogan is stubborn, impetuous and short-tempered. How can he be a father of the nation, if he can't forgive those, who criticise him? He has lost much sympathy and it's unlikely that he would be elected president next year. Gul, the president was more statesmanlike and diplomatic. Well, he had been foreign minister before.

      June 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
      • fortuneteller

        seems like your prophecy turned out to be false, we are fine with our PRESIDENT and PRIME MINISTER. The so-called democracy is in the west. just because their voice is higher than ours don't think that they are right, there is a history of those things, our fathers and we know that. May Allah bless my country, RTE and A.D and others.

        October 12, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
  3. JAL

    I have been paying closer attention to Sec. Kerry over the past few days. His remarks are very good and I will continue to listen to his statements.

    June 4, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  4. Joseph McCarthy

    Hopefully, this Erdogan may be forced out and the new leader may consider granting the Kurds their well deserved independence but let's not get our hopes up. At least, if a new leader does emerge, he may not be another stooge for the right-wing thugs in Washington who are slowly endeavoring to drag Turkey into Syria's civil war.

    June 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Reply
    • Robert London

      There is basically zero chance of any Turkish leader dividing his own country and even the Kurdish nationalist PKK do not want independence. If Turkey wanted to give independence to their eastern provinces and expel the Kurds there from the country, all people there would move to western Turkey.

      June 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  5. juninho baiano

    Another Alevi grievance is that Erdogan has named the new Istanbul bridge across the Bosphorus after Ottoman Sultan Selim the Grim, who butchered thousands of Alevi Turks centuries ago for their heteredox beliefs... he is now paying the price!

    June 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  6. emine kose

    during the protests, the erdogan's government abolished a new law in Turkey. by today, any foreign person has right to search for petrol and mine in our land without permission. world must know that prime-minister tayyip erdogan is selling the country to foreigners.

    June 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Reply
    • Lyndsie Graham

      That he is ermine, that he is. It appears that he along with the rest of the Islam Aristocrats in the Middle East have effectively replaced Allah as their god with the M.I.C. in Washington and today wait eagerly to take it's orders!

      June 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Reply
    • rightospeak

      Thank you ,emine, for the comment-now we are getting closer to the truth-he is a Globalist , not a fascist. He serves the international bankers-that is what the people are rebelling about CNN. They maybe even be unhappy about his support of the terrorists in Syria, which includes Al-Qaeda. CNN tries to make news instead of reporting them.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  7. Ferhat Balkan

    Let's keep in mind that the AKP was democratically elected twice. As a Turk, I don't mind the protests and I agree with many of their grievances, but causing damage, attacking police, burning cars, breaking shops etc. was uncalled for. There are also many extremist elements taking part in these demonstrations (mostly far left groups). If the people don't like what the AKP government is doing, they can vote against the AKP durning the next election. There were also many false accusations that the Turkish media did not have enough coverage of the events.. Since the protests started, the event was covered by all Turkish media TV channels, radio stations, newspapers, blogs etc. etc. Let us not turn this into a revolution. If you ask for democracy, then act like it! Vote during the next elections, don't go out there breaking someone else's property and attacking police. That is not the Turkish way!

    June 4, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Reply
    • Turk

      Obviously you are oblivious to the truth. Only 1 or 2 channels are putting any information out. Its been facebook and twitter which has let the truth out and the world know what is going on. No one should be vandalizing anything but police should know their boundaries and have some ethical standards. They are just throwing tear gas blindly and shooting their guns into the air like a bunch of celebrating villagers. Women, children and men are all out trying to fight for freedom of speech which has lacked in Turkey for decades. The world sees the truth, whether you post non-sense or not.

      June 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Reply
      • Ferhat Balkan

        All you have to do is go to any TV channel's website (e.g. CNN Turk, ATV Haber, HaberTurk etc) and it'll be on their front page. You can browse the different videos of the event at your leisure.

        June 5, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • Kevin MC

      spreading the government's disinformation, I see. Oppressors across the globe tell those lies when the people claim the right to be heard but look at the situation and you see nationwide overwhelmingly peaceful protests, and you have no way of knowing who is responsible for the violence.

      do you really think the AKP, for all its accusations of deep-state false-flag operations is incapable of committing them? Not when they order violence against their own people!

      June 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Reply
      • Ferhat Balkan

        I have no problem with protests, as long as they're non-violent and promote good ideals. In this case, the ideals are right, but the there is much violence. The public has a right to criticize the government, but they way it's done is undemocratic. Turkey has democratic elections and the public has a right to vote and choose their government. If your choice was not the popular vote, then it is your obligation as a citizen to abide by the laws by not burning and looting other people's property, by not attacking the police and by engaging in peaceful demonstrations.

        June 6, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • Celine

      Ferhat, I guess you should follow the events closer. What we witnessed, the police started first attacking peaceful protest movement. Using gas, plus the gas type which has been banned to be used on human beings. There are empty canisters being found with the warming notice on them. How a democratic leader of a country been voted by citizens can do something so cruel to his citizens!!! He has no tolerance to anything against his decision, ideas, criticism, questions to challenge him. He has been giving provocative talks, saying "us" and "they". I hope that someone with courage (not afraid of him) in his party, will advise the right things to do to solve this situation.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
    • Ismail

      I think Ferhat Balkan is right

      June 12, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  8. bert crenshaw

    Ferhat you have it right!

    June 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Reply
    • Ali Demir

      Ferhat is not right. Almost all of the protestors are very decent people, like students, doctors, lawyers, engineers,housewives etc.Please take a second look at the pictures. Of course this kind of protests attracts agent provecouters, spies and some mindless people. Thanks to the P.M.that Istanbul and Turkey is full of them. God knows who crosses the southern borders !
      Organisers are trying to keep the provoceuters out, but at this scale of ( and spontenous ) gathering it will be very difficult as you may guess.

      June 6, 2013 at 7:05 am | Reply
      • Ferhat Balkan

        One only has to look at the videos taken during the protests and it is not difficult to see the TKP Communist banners flying about. They often clash with police and when police fight back, they scream of brutality. No one ever mentions the TKP in any of the media broadcasts though, which always amazes me. These Communists and Anarchists always start riots.

        June 6, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Ali Demir

      Furthermore Ferhat does not understand democracy. it is not such a thing that %51 has all the rights and privileges and the rest has to obey. that is Turkish democracy, in the west they have checks and balances. Here they have ruined all these mechanisms and still it is not enough, the P.M. wants a "Turkish style presidency" which he hopes he will decide everything himself. " a new Sultan is dreamed of.

      June 6, 2013 at 7:13 am | Reply
      • Ferhat Balkan

        Same type of demonstrations happen in the West too. Just look at the May Day riots in Seattle or Portland or even the march on Wall Street and you'll see the same Communist thugs creating riots and destruction.

        June 6, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  9. meltem arikan

    If our analysis is as simple as: “I have 2 feet, I can sing. Birds have 2 feet, birds can sing. Therefore I should be able to fly too”, then yes. Otherwise, it is simply the latest fallacy perpetrated by the always-eager Western media. The Arab Spring started as an uprising against the tyrants of Baathist regimes who had been oppressing the people under juntas or dictatorships for decades. Turkey is not a dictatorship, nor is it a junta regime.

    Turkey is run by a 3-time elected democratic government, which runs the country according to secular laws, comparable with the European countries. If Turkish people are not content with the government, they can hold a referendum and change the government with early elections. We do not see any sign of such a desire. On the contrary, the demand from people to the Prime Minister is to amend the party rules and run for a fourth term.

    June 4, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  10. meltem arikan

    Some analysts, which were following the provocations on Twitter didn’t hesitate to stereotype the protests and compare them to those of the Arab Spring and labeled the protests as the Turkish Spring, not knowing many of the images and notes they receive over twitter were actually fraudulent. If we really want to talk about a Turkish Spring, it happened in 2002 when the AK Party was first elected to a majority. They are not the problem, they were the solution. Most coverage of the protests so far has been provided by analysts with little insight into Turkish politics. One cannot possibly analyze the situation in Turkey by staring out their hotel window in Istanbul. I went to Disneyland once. That doesn’t make me Tinkerbell.

    June 4, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Reply
    • Karl

      Just more of that pro-Western, right-wing bla-bla-bla supporting that tyrant Erdogan from meltem arikan. The Turks need a more liberal leader willing to give the Kurds their well deserved independence. Unfortunately, I expect Erdogan to ride this one out!

      June 5, 2013 at 1:46 am | Reply
      • Turk

        Agreed Carl? Erdogan is anything but secular!!!

        June 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  11. Buzz

    What is it with you western scholars and sectarian politics? This shii, that sunni, this alevi... You cannot understand Turkey from a sectarian point of view. You need to get rid of all your misconceptions first.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:04 am | Reply
  12. valwayne

    Turks freely elected and extreme Islamic Government. Now they are reaping the benefits. They have their misery to deal with now as their freedoms are taken way from them and they get Sharia law. In the U.S. we also made a terrible mistake and elected Obama. And we did it twice. So now we have to suffer as our nation declines and our freedoms are eroded by the corruption and abuse of Government power that we've seen in the IRS and Justice Dept. The lesson here is to know what you are voting for when you live in a free nation. Terrible mistakes like they made in Turkey or the U.S. lead to total disaster and who do you blame when you freely voted for it?

    June 5, 2013 at 2:35 am | Reply
    • sullyman

      Incredibly feeble attempt to inject US domestic politics into this discussion.
      Replace Obama with Bush and your post reads just as well, or makes more sense.
      But none of that belongs in a discussion of Turkish politics. Troll elsewhere with your sectarian drivel ...

      June 5, 2013 at 3:09 am | Reply
      • sullyman

        Also, Turkey's political situation is more complicated than your simplistic thoughts ...

        June 5, 2013 at 3:12 am |
      • Harrison

        II agree.

        June 5, 2013 at 9:41 am |
  13. sullyman

    The gov't has been good for the economy, but has abused its powers in various ways. The military arguably needing to have its power scaled back, but the heavy-handed and likely fraudulent trials and detentions are a disturbing abuse. Along with the jailings of the press and suppression of reporting and dissent. It's a shaky immature democracy, and the authoritarian tendencies of the AKP have left Turkey drifting into repressive territory. If things continue in such a direction, foreign investment will start to dry up. And Turkey's hopes of leading the ME region will dwindle.

    We'll see - but these protests could be a good corrective. Heavy handed authoritarianism breeds protests and radicalism. We'll see if both sides can maneuver things back into democratic channels. Unfortunately Erdogan doesn't seem like much of a compromiser and conciliator, but the opportunity is there ...

    June 5, 2013 at 3:06 am | Reply
  14. Aykut

    No one ever talks about Erdogan and his political party, AKP, cheating in the past few elections. What people should know is that his party influenced people's votes; for example, they bought poor and uneducated people's coal, food, as well as paved roads/improved infrastructure in and around poor areas. They also apparently illegally added stamped votes into the election boxes to make sure they had the lead. There is no question in my mind that AKP breaks many laws of democracy and I don't believe they have 50% support from the country......I think protesters and opposition parties need to bring outside groups or NGOs to monitor elections from now on!!! Also opposition parties need to educate the lower class and religious conservatives about life, politics, and the disadvantages of Erdogan!

    June 5, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  15. AJ

    As a Turk, it is very disheartening to see what this administration has turned (or trying to turn) Turkey into over the years. The founder (or father as we like to refer to him) of our country (to clarify I am talking about the Republic of Turkey not the Ottoman Empire), Kemal Ataturk, was a visionary who took Turkey out of the dark ages and modernized it, He made Turkey a democratic secular country separating church and state, banned fezes and burka type clothing for women, adapted the Latin alphated (ABC) got rid of the arabic stylized language which we call old turkish. The women had the vote before they did in the US and some other countries, etc. We became the only country in the region that is a NATO member, supporter and ally of Israel and the West. Erdogan's regime is slowly chipping away at our system trying to turn Turkey into fascism with the added bonus of radical Islamist views. I don't know if the voting is rigged, but when he got elected, there were millions of people that marched protesting him (intellectual/educated class of course, he does have an appeal with the rural village people in the eastern regions using religion). I live in the US and cannot even have a conversation with friends over there on the political environment nowadays, because everyone is afraid to speak since all conversations are being listened to by the government. When I lived there many many years ago, we had political humor magazines making fun of the current administration or our version of comedians like Bill Maher as you would in a free society–all that has stopped. Also, to clarify, this is not about cutting down trees, it is a Ataturk war memorial with a statue and it wasn't just tear gas but agent orange that was used on the peaceful protestors (hospitals are giving free medical care to everyone)–all this is so shocking, but I guess it can happen, Iran prior to the 1979 coup was a very modern country, the Shah and his wife Farrah were like the middle-eastern Kennedy's. Afganishtan in the 1980s was very modern and now it is the hotbod for the Taliban, women are covered up, dancing is a sin (really!)–it is all too depressing.

    June 5, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  16. Vanessa

    HUMANITY HAS LOST HUMAN HONOUR HAS LOST Since 2 years all world is just watching like a film how an oppressor leader killing thousands of his innocent community in Syria and once again double faced world leaders just watching it.and in Turkey just because of renovation plan and transferring trees some other part of İstanbul cause widespread protest.Today if Turkey gets more covarage than syria or iraq this is not because of sensitivity of protest but because of intending to spread anarchy in Turkey
    World media regularly repeats how Turkey changed since a decade because of AKP government (its booming economy,success in foreign policy,achievements in human rights records etc.)but today all media coverage outside Turkey blaming government as oppressing freedom and ignoring basic human rights.How can it be possible to spread such anarchy in an oppressed state .

    l personally agree that Democracy is not just a matter of bullet box but since a decade opposition groups have not accepted the reality of a government which won three elections overwelmingly and respect is not just responsibility of one side.
    many coup plans ,assasination plans to prime minister, degrading critics to President came out since Justice and Development Party came power just because of conservative background of Justice and Development Party leaders
    Now Turkey is in another stage ,as regional tensions rise,some hideous plans are served now in Turkey

    June 5, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  17. Vanessa

    I see alot of people made very bad comment about Turkey, and I wanted to let them know how good it is to show us how much pathetic your country is. What do you expect U.S an U.N to do? Send bombard planes there and take out all Turkish forces as well as Tayyip?. what a looser people..

    June 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  18. Vanessa

    I am sick of it discussion about Ataturk all the time. Ataturk past away more than 80 years ago. Brainless people in Turkey still worshiping ataturk
    Only 3 country left and still worshiping their dictators, (Cuba, North Korea and Turkey)..

    June 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • Ferhat Balkan

      Ataturk was our founding father. If it wasn't for him, Turkey would not exist and be a split land between England, Greece, France, Australia etc. He is the reason we have democracy and secularism today. We are forever indebted to him for saving Turks and Turkiye! I do not agree with the way the protests are being conducted and the involvement of Communist/Socialists groups who exaggerate the situation for their own personal gain, but Ataturk's commitment and sacrifice for Turkey should never be ignored!

      June 5, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Reply
      • AJ

        Ferhat, why are you wasting your energy responding to an ignorant individual like Vanessa 🙂 who thinks Ataturk is a dictator when he made Turkey a Western-style democratic nation, by the way Vanessa, if you are American, don't you call people like George Washington "our founding fathers". I wish only intelligent, educated, well-informed people would post things on CNN–APTALIN TEKIYLE UGRASMA FERHAN

        June 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  19. Blue

    Erdoğan called twitter as nuisance yet he has an account for himself. He has more than 2.6 million followers but he follows nobody. no, nada, zero .. because he knows EVERYTHING and only his opinions matter.

    June 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  20. chapuller

    02:40 – Istanbul:

    Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey, has just arrived from his diplomatic visit.
    AK Party organizations have gathered about 10K people to the airport with SMS announcements. The arrival was broadcasted live by many mainstream TV channels.

    In his speech, right after a quick summary of what they have done for the 10 years in power, HE HAS OPENLY PROVOKED PEOPLE TO ATTACK THE GEZI PROTESTERS:

    -He quoted a poem of Mehmet Akif, which included the lines such as "if anyone attacks my family, I would strangle him".

    -He frequently emphasized the words "vandalism, terrorists, burning cars, harming innocent people" to describe Gezi protesters.

    -He has claimed that the protesters burned the Turkish flag. (2 days ago, TRT, Turkish National TV has aired a video from 2010, where PKK members were burning a flag; claiming that they were Gezi Protesters)

    -For the Garanti Bank CEO supporting the protesters, he clearly stated "it will be taken care of, it will become ours."

    -He has claimed that the police officer who lost his life by falling off a bridge was pushed by Gezi protesters. (The police officer's best friend has announced in the media that the police officer was tired and fell off the bridge due to lack of sleep and fatigue)

    During the whole speech, the mounted troops were shouting "The hands against the police should be broken" and "Let us go, we'll crash Taksim"

    Of course, at the end of his speech, the PM told the crowd -in one sentence- to "go home in dignity".

    These words are only a part of his speech, unfortunately the overall speech was even more serious and provocative than these. Hopefully it will be translated ASAP and shared with media.

    I, as a Turkish citizen and a close supporter of the Taksim Gezi movement, am deeply concerned about the PM's words, which might easily lead the crowds to violence.

    Thanks for reading.

    June 6, 2013 at 11:02 pm | Reply
    • Celine

      Thank you for your great post!! Yes. everybody has to know the reality. PM arrives late at night, so streets could be empty to accommodate his crowd, with Turkish flags and pictures of Ataturk!!!! How surprising! His crowd never carried Turkish flag. What a change all of a sudden! This AKP crowd became patriotic to make a body show. It shows nothing they do is authentic.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Reply
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