Tag Archives: Demonstrations

A Regular Day in Kızılay Square

After Protesters had Backed Away

Today was Sunday and people had more time to protest here in Ankara, Turkey. Normally protests take place during the night. Kızılay is the name of the main square of Ankara, the battlefield, in essence, where the clashes between the Turkish police and the demonstrators are taking place over the past two weeks or so. But these are not mere protests, this is really a war. At this point it doesn’t really matter who started it; the situation has not gotten out of hand with regard to the protests simply because the police operations are already out of hand. The use of force and intimidation is vastly disproportionate compared to the number of protesters. Continue reading

Live From Taksim Square

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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