Saturday, June 1, 2013

Police Clashes with Protesters in Turkey, US State Deparment Says "These freedoms are crucial to any healthy democracy"

According to BBC people in Turkey got incensed over a planned shopping center over a small park in central Istanbul.

Aside from the governor of Tokyo and his supporters who believes Turkey is too dangerous to hold an Olympic in 7 years, I wonder who (think they) benefit.

From BBC (5/31/2013):

Turkey police clash with Istanbul Gezi Park protesters

At least 12 people have been injured after Turkish police used tear gas and water cannon against protesters occupying a park in central Istanbul.

Demonstrators had held a four-day sit-in at Gezi Park, angry at plans to redevelop that part of Taksim Square.

An Istanbul court later ordered the temporary suspension of the project to uproot trees in the park.

But there is wider anger against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the unrest has spread to Ankara.

Protests have also been reported in other cities, including Bodrum, Konya and Izmir.

The US later expressed its concern over the reported number of injuries in Istanbul.

"We believe that Turkey's long-term stability, security and prosperity is best guaranteed by upholding the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly and association, which is what it seems these individuals were doing,'' state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

"These freedoms are crucial to any healthy democracy."


What started out as an environmental protest in Istanbul became anti-government in tone, correspondents say.

The controversial redevelopment project is aimed at easing congestion around Taksim Square but also involves building a shopping centre over Gezi Park.

Opponents of Mr Erdogan's plans say the park is one of the few green areas left in central Istanbul.

One banner at Friday's protest included a cartoon of Mr Erdogan dressed as an Ottoman sultan with the slogan: "The people will not bow down to you."

"We do not have a government, we have Tayyip Erdogan," political scientist and protester Koray Caliskan told the Reuters news agency.

"They are not listening to us," he added. "This is the beginning of a summer of discontent."

(Full article at the link)

The US should practice at home what they preach to Turkey.


VyseLegendaire said...

Says the US state department in the same country where Occupy and G20/8 protests are cracked down on with an iron hammer.

netudiant said...

Seems very reminiscent of Venezuela to me.
A charismatic leader wins the popular vote by appealing to the poor and rural majority, even though he is rejected by the relatively wealthy urbanites. This is a recipe for clashes, which Mr. Erdogan appears to have anticipated but not moved to avoid.
Note that a similar suppression of protests has just taken place in Germany, where the Blockupy march on the ECB HQ was crushed by the police in defiance of a court order.
Hello pot, meet kettle.

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