Monday, June 3, 2013

Turkey and I'm not taking about Thanksgiving

( The tear gas used here was outdated CS compliments of the U.S. government)

A little news that didn't quite get reported over the weekend. While lame stream media was busy watching the latest dress malfunction a whole bunch of folks in Turkey were busy taking to the streets protesting the removal of a central park to put up a shopping mall. What's so important about that you might think? It's only the latest in a string of take aways from the government. Alcohol and tobacco use are now limited by the government. Street vendors are no longer permitted to sell tobacco and alcohol can not be sold between the hours of 10 PM and 6 AM. The latter didn't go over well with the countries young people who are more liberal minded than we in the west may think.

At any rate a mass protest was organized to occupy Gezi park where trees were to be cut down and a shopping mall was to be build. But it didn't stop with one small park. The outrage over the latest government dictates was felt in every major city in the country. The police moved in with tear gas and water cannons and did manage to get the upper hand for a while but the protesters regrouped later and managed to retake the park putting up multiple barricades to block the streets. Now you would think that the place would look like a war zone after such a confrontation but Monday morning when the smoke cleared the protesters had cleaned the streets of nearly all the debris and an eerie quiet was felt on the city streets. The only thing left were a couple of burned out buses and a few empty shell casings of tear gas, made in America by the way.

A few other things concerning this uprising. The government tried unsuccessfully to shut down the internet but the young folks managed to do work arounds, Youtube has managed to delete some of the videos of the most violent actions but they forgot that videos on youtube can be screen captured for later viewing. The brutal actions of the police were caught for all to see and may be used as evidence against them later. That's a sad statement for what started out as a peaceful protest. Twitter and facebook accounts were frozen but that did not stop this movement as they found alternative means to keep information flowing. As the saying goes "the revolution will not be televised" but you can watch it right here on the web in real time if you know where to go.  

How this will all play out is anyones' guess but one thing is certain, it's going to be a long hot summer over there. Youth unemployment stands at nearly 60% I'm told and the president seems not to want to budge on his right wing ideology. He is of course an extremist muslim or at least supports those ideas. The country has been secular for generations so you can see what this fight is all about.


The Blog Fodder said...

I had to smile at the news descriptions of the events as it sounded like OWS.

Prime Minister Erdogan and the AKP are certainly more Islamist than the opposition CHP which is very secular. How extremist is anyone's guess. And there is no doubt that conservative laws and attitudes have been creeping slowly into government. Erdogan is VERY authoritarian and has been consolidating his power. He has visions of becoming President with a USA style constitution rather than the one they have where the president is more of a figurehead (like our Queen but appointed by parliament).
AKP has strong support of the conservative Islamic faithful, mainly rural because they were finally tired of being left out by the secular elite who had run Turkey pretty much since Ataturk. any time the government got too far "off track" the Military intervened and democracy was "reset". Erdogan has most of the top Military people capable of pulling off a coup in jail on conspiracy to pull off a coup charges. Clever dude.
Where this will go is anyone's guess but many people are fed up with Erdogan's dictatorial ways, no question.

BBC said...

All in all things are going okay in my neck of the woods.

Randal Graves said...

9/11 happens and we're told to go shopping. We're way too comfortable compared to everywhere else.

billy pilgrim said...

muslims or chinamen, who will rule the earth 250 years from now?

BBC said...

Seriously, hasn't man figured out yet that our days are numbered? If scientist are correct, man has only been on the earth for a short time. Other species ruled before us. Others will rule after us.

Don't expect us to be here in 250 years, or 50.

The Blog Fodder said...

The Blog Fodder said...

Demeur said...

Thanks for the info Fodder. I figured you'd have a closer view of things having been to Turkey.

Yeah Randal tell that to the people who lost their homes to foreclosure or the 12 million still out of work with no unemployment left. Real cushy.