Gezi Park Resistance Article Series – No. 11

Criticism to Erdoğan Goes Deeper than Trees
and  “Interference with Lifestyles”

Some observers explain the Gezi Park protests and the Turkish government’s harsh clampdown as a new chapter in the conflict between secularists and Islamists. The argument goes that most protestors are well-educated “White Turks” from middle class backgrounds, and their main reason for taking the streets is the government’s increasing interference with their lifestyles, exemplified by the abortion debate and the new law restricting the sale of alcohol. Erdoğan himself has been presenting the events to his followers as a civilian coup attempt backed by foreigners and the “interest-rate lobby.” He has no scruples about voicing inflammatory (and in more than one occasion, false) allegations against the protestors in his party rallies, which he organized hastily as a showdown in the face of protests.

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3 thoughts on “Criticism to Erdoğan Goes Deeper than Trees and “Interference with Lifestyles”

  1. nelson

    Excellent article.
    Most commentators seem to reduce the problems of Turkey to the basic dichotomy of secularism vs Islamism without analysing it any further. On going human rights violations, restrictions of free speech, partisan judiciary and police, unlawful arrests and imprisonments, retrogressive steps in the education system, rising youth unemployment are the issues at the heart of the current protests. People do not want growth and affluence based on concrete projects which destroy nature and public places and store up problems for the future. They should make allowances and respect the intelligence and the expression of genuine concerns of Turkish people whose life styles were not dictated to them by the politicians for 80 years.

  2. Hikmet Alpin

    Good erticle, except the inclusion of yhe Lice incident among the peaceful protests. Even in a region where smuggling (including drugs) is a tradition and a way of living, violent protest against building of a police post cannot be considered as democratic popular action.


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