The protests in Turkey which started in Istanbul and swept the country have been ongoing for days. The occupy movement which tried to protect an Istanbul park from its destruction in face of plans for a new mall quickly turned into anti-government protests and riots.
This outcome has very much to do with the government/police reaction to the protests but it also shows the extent to which the Turkish society is polarized, not the least because of the “authoritarianization” followed by the government of late. It seems that the contemporary “Turkish miracle” is not only superficial but also an example to be avoided rather than emulated. The “Turkish Model” and the discourse surrounding it is now more ambiguous than ever. As far as the police’s response is concerned these images have little difference from the ones we saw in countries of the “Arab Spring” that Turkey was criticizing (still is) not long ago.
Among other things the protests show that economic growth is not enough to respond to the concerns of the people. At the same time it is obvious that the top-down Islamization and authoritarization of the society based on the wills of the “leader” do not remain unopposed.
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