Anti Authoritarians Rise in Turkey

The news of civil unrest is not diminishing.

Violent protests against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan engulfed Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, on Saturday and spread to other cities, including the capital, Ankara, as tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in a second day of civil unrest and faced the tear gas and water cannons of a harsh police crackdown.

 …the protesters presented a long list of grievances against Mr. Erdogan, including opposition to his policy of supporting Syria’s rebels against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, his crackdown on dissent and intimidation of the news media, and unchecked development in Istanbul.

As we all know, nothing is certain once a well ordered train leaves the rails.  As the article points out, the demonstrations have been spontaneous, with nothing like an organizing force emerging.  Energies will certainly drain from the exuberation of the first manifestations; repression may rise or, if the government is as smart as it has been up to now, co-option will begin.  Promises to stop the development at Taksim Square would be an obvious first step.

The stakes are high, of course, with Syria imploding next door, and sectarian religious violence beginning to heat all over the area.

On Turkey

On Sectarian Violence

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