Abbasağa Park, Beşiktaş, 17 June 2013. Citizens’ Forum.
Workers urged to leave jobs on Monday afternoon and converge on Taksim Square, scene of weeks of anti-government protests
Turkish trade unions urged their members to walk out of work on Monday and join demonstrations in response to a widespread police crackdown against activists following weeks of street protests.
Security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear roughly 10,000 people from Istanbul‘s Gezi Park on Saturday night. The demonstrators then set up new barricades and spontaneous rallies took place across the country. Erdoğan’s brutal show of force has made an end to the protests all the more unlikely, commentators write, but point out that most Turkish citizens are not on the demonstrators’ side.
Security forces cleared Taksim Square by force on Tuesday, using water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets against the demonstrators. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has discredited himself entirely with his autocratic behaviour, commentators write, putting little hope in the announced talks between the prime minister and his opponents.
I have spent the last few days interviewing people in Istanbul?s Gezi Park protests as well as hanging out in the park, observing, chatting informally with everyone ranging from journalists to visitors to the park and occasionally getting massively tear gassed. My lungs continue to burn as I type this morning.
German chancellor is ‘shocked’ at handling of unrest but does not call for suspension of talks on Turkey joining EU
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she was shocked at Turkey’s tough response to anti-government protests but she stopped short of demanding that the EU call off accession talks with the candidate country.
Since the Arab awakening, Turkey?s working democracy and the significantly decreased role of the army in the public sphere have made it a model for many of its neighbors. Western business and policy circles were happy to see a market-friendly leader who could potentially inspire the disgruntled Muslim populations in the world. But the heavy-handed attempts by the government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan to blast peaceful protesters off the streets using tear gas and water cannon in recent weeks exposes Turkey to accusations of hypocrisy such as those that are often leveled at the US.
Prime Minister Erdoğan seems to have chosen a policy of high tension. By escalating his Islamic discourse, he is targeting the next election. But he is also putting his own supporters on a collision course with urban and educated young Turks, writes Zeynep Göğüş.
Another sleepless night in Istanbul as thousands of people take to the streets to oppose Erdogan’s increasingly brutal regime.
Protestors took to the streets against the government after police forcibly evicted them from Gezi Park following days of demonstrations.Miguel Carminati/Demotix
The Turkish state seems to be determined to repress ongoing and expanding popular revolts largely by using a combination of three strategies: police force, propaganda and social media too.
Gezi Park in Istanbul is empty on Monday for the first time in 18 days after police dispersed anti-government protesters
One of the murdered protesters….
Turkey?s False Nostalgia
By EDHEM ELDEMPublished: June 16, 2013ISTANBUL ? THE demonstrators who have filled the streets of Istanbul and other Turkish cities for nearly three weeks complain that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan?s Justice and Development Party, known as the A.K.P., has adopted an increasingly authoritarian attitude that threatens basic freedoms. They also resent his tendency to meddle in the personal lives of citizens ? by condemning abortion or trying to control the sale and consumption of alcohol.
Davide Martello, who staged 14-hour recitals during the unrest, says officials seized his piano as part of their raid on Gezi Park
Turkish police have reportedly confiscated a piano that was being used to serenade Istanbul’s protesters. Davide Martello claims that officials seized his grand piano as part of Saturday’s raid on Gezi Park.
Edhem Eldhem has a sensible, straight-talking piece on the New York Times Opinion Page in which he argues that ?the new egalitarian discourses rising from Gezi Park risk being drowned out in the clamor of an outdated political struggle.? Excerpts:
Istanbul Police Terror! German TV ZDF 15.06.2013 English subtitles
Valikonağı, Nişantaşı. 16 June 2013.