Occupy Gezi Park


Dear friends all around the world,
The Turkish citizens are tired of a bullying government with its corrupt management of public spaces and reckless abuse of land came together to protect a public park in the heart of the Istanbul which is under the threat of being demolished so the 94th shopping mall can be built in its place. They're protesting the demolition of the Gezi Park as part of a redevelopment plan but protecting green recreational parks of Turkey is not the only reason, this is a movement against the frequent violation of human rights by authorities in Turkey. The government keeps destroying nature to build malls and make the people who are lose to the AKP government richer. People are fed up with Erdogan's fascist government and they're calling for his resignation. The majority of media in Turkey do not inform any citizen either about the recent events in that park or the events in Reyhanli because of government pressure. People endured the brutal attacks by the police since Friday, May 31, 2013 (including water cannons, tear gas bombs, burning the tents...). Several people are killed by the police, hundreds of people are injured and hospitalized. The police are attacking people, beating them, one of them threw a gas canister inside a car that was passing by almost killing the person inside it, they're blocking roads and injuring innocent people that pass by and innocent people who protest against fascism.

Media and police are not acting on behalf of the nation. Government suppressed the democratic, modern people of Turkey and currently police forces are acting incredibly brutal against everyone. The events in Turkey screams for the attention of foreign media as Turkish media is not acting honestly. It is world’s responsibility to spread the word, protect the innocent and to stand against this brutal police force. Turkey needs World’s awareness.

What you can do:- Forward this message to everyone you know- Visit to see the pictures. Send your support messages through twitter with the #direngeziparki and #occupygezi hashtag - Tag @bbc @cnn @reuters and other large media channels in these posts- Post this message on Facebook- Let your local and national media channels know, please help spread the news globally. If you're in NY also check out:


Jun 1, 13 8:23 am

Do you need America to intervene? remove your leader perhaps?

Jun 1, 13 8:28 am

*paging Obama*

Jun 1, 13 8:29 am

Your government has intervened enough all these years. All we ask of you is to spread the information.

Jun 1, 13 8:44 am

Regime change starts at home. The problem is that each successive one is worse than the last. 

Jun 1, 13 9:51 am
chatter of clouds

actually, it is not in the US's benefit  to interfere or side against or criticize the Turkish government for any internal issue given the crucial role being played by the latter apropos Syria. of course by benefit I mean in the short term - let it discover what detrimental effects the long term has in store for it.

I wonder why the movement is being called Occupy? in my very small insignificant opinion, it depreciates and does not add. 1- turkey has different circumstances 2- occupy has proven to fail even in its original context 3- occupy did not address particular issues (perhaps due to the overarching complicity of system within the reality occupying the Occupiers attacked rather than to any specific fault on the latter's part - did I mention the New York Occupiers who were having coffee in Starbucks because it was raining outside? even I stopped drinking starfucks coffee some time ago when they started subsidizing the murder of Lebanese citizens during the 2006 war) whereas its very clear what the Turkish malaise is.

now, had the Arab spring actually brought a nice summer with it...but unfortunately, it was a subsequently dismal summer bringing to fruition what evidently many Turks are trying to get rid off. so no Spring either. some other term?

its all connected somehow.

unfortunately,it would be too easy to typecast me as a Shiite maverick I will not delve more. best of luck. erdogan's tentacles are sneaky.

Jun 1, 13 10:44 am

Site for my Thesis Studio is in Turkey, I hope all issues get resolved by October. Good Luck to our friends in Turkey.

Jun 3, 13 10:37 am

tammuz, you're speaking specifically to occupy wallstreet?  didn't they also have occupy tahrir? in my opinion, it shows international solidarity.  while there are some specific circumstances that make turkey different from egypt, US, syria, tunisia, everywhere else, there are also some things that unite us.  like dignity or tear gas.

also, it would seem to me the thing in turkey is not about a park.  the park and the police reaction to protestors at the park was a catalyst that caused a lot of people fed up with a lot of other things to boil over.  the turkish malaise is a government that no longer represents the governed, which i believe is similar to the other movements.  that's just my impression, and if orhan or paradoxx wanted to confirm or deny that, i would respect their opinion as more informed than mine.

egypt (i'm pretty sure):


different countries, different governments, but deep down we're all one people.

Jun 3, 13 11:50 am
chatter of clouds

the french revolution was occupy? the cuban revolution?  the iranian one? the georgian rose revolution? the lithuanian singing revolution? the ukranian orange revolution?  

i sympathize with Occupy but it looked doomed halfway through. also, i'm against the term 'occupy'. pubic space is rightfully yours; the occupation is on the part of those who occupy your terf of democratic practice and civic participation.

the arab spring brought us a lot of discontent with it and has had detrimental effect on the minorities in the region. i hope better times are ahead.  

i wish for the turkish a more successful revolution, one they brand themselves.  

Jun 3, 13 12:26 pm

i hope the situation improves for the people of turkey, and really for everyone everywhere.  i hope this can end without more people getting hurt.  i'm sure we have very similar outlooks on this.

the word 'occupy' was actually used in egypt and i'm pretty sure tunisia as well.  i don't think that word was used in the other revolutions you mention.  as far as i can tell, the idea behind it is, as stated before, solidarity and unity.  the people of turkey are facing a different situation than the people of egypt, but there are a lot of similarities.  this sin't "their" problem, this is "our" problem.

they were going to bulldoze that park to build a shopping center.  as far as what i've read, they had plans to bulldoze working class neighborhoods so the PM's family could build luxury apartments.  maybe that actually happened (it was from 2006/2008).  monied interest took over politics and those who work for a living, and i include myself in that number, are getting screwed.

"occupy" is really just a marketing thing to help bring international attention to the problems all of these people, all over the world, are facing.  these protests that have been happening are somewhat interconnected, and while the world hasn't been fixed yet, maybe someday it will be.  the attention from the marketing spin, the guy fawkes masks, and twitter can only help them (maybe).  local media, news cameras, al jazeera, cnn, etc., can been pretty well shut out by govt. sensors.

Jun 3, 13 12:48 pm
Why is the name of this protest so important to everyone? The importance should be placed on how the Turks are protesting, with love and camaraderie. These people simply want their democratic rights to be honored. Given the sheer number of protestors in Istanbul, specifically near Gezi Park, they could easily retaliate with violence against the police, who are shooting them with water cannons and deploying tear gas. However, they stand as one body that is above these actions. Don't focus so much on the name of this movement, but rather the way in which it is moving and why.
Jun 4, 13 12:41 am
chatter of clouds

Friendly6, you don't have the right to tell anyone not to afford their comments. if you think these comments are irrelevant, you need not acknoweldge it.

Jun 4, 13 1:10 am

"pubic space is rightfully yours"
Such an unfortunate typo over there. Tammuz, since the government didn't see this public space as belonging to the public these protests started. Because according to them the ruling party owns that space, not the people. Erdogan said "We're going to build a shopping mall over there", someone else said "build a mosque too" and Erdogan said "we'll build that too, I won't ask a bunch of plunderers what to do". 

Also when I started this thread on June 1st it was still about a couple of dozen peaceful protesters occupying the park and resisting the demolishment of the park. 

As of June 2nd the whole thing evolved into anti-government protests.  It started in the Gezi Park, spread to Taksim Square, then it spread to Besiktas then to the Asian side of Istanbul and eventually to other cities including Izmir, Ankara, Bursa, Antalya, Tunceli, Izmit, Adana and even as far as Hatay.
People are chanting "Every place is Taksim, every place is resistance.". Now calling it a park protest would be a narrow definition so we can stop calling it "occupy gezi parki".  Can we stop fixating on names now?

Jun 4, 13 10:09 am
chatter of clouds

ahem, yes that...public, of course

we can focus on all sorts of things at around the same time. kindly don't dictate conditions.

Jun 4, 13 10:41 am

Parliament will vote on whether or not to turn national parks into residential properties:

Jun 4, 13 10:42 am

Couple things:

Turkey is far different from the Arab revolutions that started in 2011.

Erdogan is no dictator - he was elected in place and often times, they were overwhelming precentages.

Jun 4, 13 2:00 pm

Eh, you can always count on med. to ruin threads with his sheer ignorance.
Let's see...

"Erdogan is no dictator - he was elected in place and often times, they were overwhelming precentages."

If you think that democracy begins and ends at the voting booth then you clearly have no idea what democracy is. So, when the prime minister orders his ruthless police to gas, beat, silence the people with disproportional force we are supposed to wait for the election and you call this democracy. We are not Egypt, but we are not mindless sheep either. We have the right to ask for his resignation and he has a right to say no. That's how democracy works. Everybody is entitled to their opinion and should be free to express it in a peaceful manner. If the police beat you up, and drag your wife/girl friend from the hair and shoot the pepper spray shells toward your head, then you can go back home and wait for the election to express yourself. But not us, Turkish people will not be silent this time. We’ve been silent for too long. Democracy is expressing your self to the world. Democracy is freedom and guarantee of life styles. Erdogan tries to change the life style of %50 of the people and he thinks and you think it is fair because he took votes of the other %50. 

Turkey has more jailed journalists than Iran and China. They jailed retired army generals, students (who wanted free education) and even doctors. The AKP government controls 90% of the media, they control the TV and newspapers themselves and the rest of the media self censors itself for the fear of being punished. Just yesterday Erdogan said the social media was a menace:

He said the protesters should be hanged from the trees:

He calls the protesters a couple of "plunderers" AND instead of trying to calm things down he says he can bring 1 million AKP supporters against the protesters if the protesters bring 100,000 people.

You have no clue about democracy.

Jun 4, 13 4:28 pm
chatter of clouds

Aha, med.,

i will nibble at the bait if only for argument's sake. i agree that Turkey is a different entity but i do not agree that it is so different to be beyond finding subliminal links that tether it to the region and that are adding to the increasing discontent and imbalance caused by erdogan's politicking. for instance, it is clear that he is party to the sectarian feud within the region. politically, turkey has aligned itself with saudi arabia and qatar. turkey has a big alevi/ alewi presence and the antipathy between sunni and shiite groups  is currently making itself felt within turkey by way of turkey's involvement within syria and vice versa. by (at least) taking sides, erdogan has thus taken sides against a significant minority within turkey itself. did erdogan try to survey puclib opinion and act accordingly. no, typical middle eastern leader.  i hear there were already cases of syrian free army personnel being kidnapped by alewite within turkey and handed over to the syrian government.

 and yet despite that, there are - must be- many sunni and other turks who are not with participating in the syrian war. has Erogan's implicit religiously based prejudice - similar to that of regional countries- led turkey into a situation with a neighbouring country that it shouldnt have encouraged? ok, i had to purge myself of that bile...

so, in regards to that, it is not whether Turkeywas/ is so similar to the arab countries. rather, it is the fear that Turkey is inviting this similarity increasingly within its own in more ways that one:

including, of course, corruption and "wasta", the very core of the sickness in arab countries that led to the revolutions in teh first place. so there is that commonality as well.

 as in arab countries, turks are getting fed up with now owning the cumulative decisions being made on their behalf.

currently, i don't know why but i find erdogan a more sophisticated and wily version of morsi. now, if egyptians were to mass revolt against morsi, there you would have parallel likelihood on both sides, turkish and egyptian.

Jun 4, 13 4:28 pm
chatter of clouds

ok, so, the question is when will he be Erdogone (am i the first to come up with that one...not possible!)

Jun 4, 13 4:31 pm

Turkey has 20% Alevi population and this fascist government has done nothing but insult them and attack them. They've built a new bridge. Turkey's Alevis have protested government plans to name the third bridge to be built over the Bosporous in İstanbul as Yavuz Sultan Selim, an Ottoman sultan, who they say is responsible for the brutal massacre of tens of thousands of Alevis in the early part of the 16th century.

“We vehemently protest that the name of Yavuz Sultan Selim -- who has caused deep sorrows and agony to Alevis in the past -- be given to the bridge and demand that the plans to give the bridge that name be changed immediately,” Hüsniye Takmaz, head of the Federation of Alevi Associations said on Sunday at the Garipçe village of İstanbul, which is the place where the European abutment of the bridge will be placed, adding 25 million Alevis are deeply hurt.

Yavuz Sultan Selim is also the conqueror of Syria.
Get the message yet?
Pianist Fazil Say was arrested because of a tweet he wrote about religion and in reality all he did was quote Omar Khayyam. They jailed Turkish-Armenian Sevan Nisanyan for "insulting Islam".
They partially banned the sale of alcohol. Now it is illegal to buy alcohol between the hours of 10pm and 6am. The advertisement of alcohol is banned and drinking alcohol within 100 meters of mosques and schools are not permitted. Just yesterdays he said anyone who drinks alcohol is an alcoholic. Actually in the interview between Fatih Altayli and Tayyip Erdogan the conversation went like this:
Erdogan: Anyone who drinks alcohol is an alcoholic.
Altayli: What about those who have a drink or two occasionally and vote for you?
Erdogan: Those are not alcoholics.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry...

Most Turkish people don't want a war with Syria. Erdogan is being a pawn to Washington and arming the rebels aka the terrorists in Syria. They're aiding and giving arms to Al Qaeda and Al Nusra which is a branch of Al Qaeda and Al Nusra is responsible for the death of 177 Turkish citizens of Reyhanli. The Turkish media didn't even tell the truth about the events in Reyhanli. They didn't let any journalists in the area, they didn't let anyone. They went there and destroyed all the evidence.
Watch this, straight out of Hatay people's mouths:

And this explaining the protests that are going on:

Jun 4, 13 4:43 pm
chatter of clouds

Parad0xx86, i disagree with you. Erdogan is not acting as a pawn to Washington; Erdogan is more active and- if possible- more extreme in his support for the dissolution of the Syrian regime. he was way ahead of many others and played a solid role in sliding world opinion against syria. no, he was not a pawn. he has his own agenda; this is very clear.

its crazy what this guy is up to. i see no sense in it. breeding a new Kandahar next door and inculcating turko-phobia within the larger region. what does he have to gain? free passage for a regional oil pipeline that passes through a subservient Syria out of fear that the iraqi kurdistan might be potentially a capricious political bottle neck?

Jun 4, 13 5:14 pm
chatter of clouds

Erdogan's Turkey complicit in the kidnapping of Lebanese shia pilgrims in Syria back in May 2012 (9 have not been released to date)

There is serious anti-Turkish sentiment within Lebanon (excluding the traditional armenian lebanese one of course).

and just for giggles: with Turkish assistance, US Senator Mc.Cain gets to meet and give moral support to the same group of terrorists and  kidnappers

Jun 5, 13 3:51 am

As far as I know, the USA is trying to get a better control of Iran and they need to handle Syria before they can get to Iran.

The ruling party AKP is a partner in the neocon "Greater Middle East Project" involving the push by the U.S. to make Turkey support the Syrian rebels. In reality the Syrian conflict is not a civil one it is a proxy war. Maybe it was indeed started by people forming FSA to protest against Assad but terrorists hi-jacked and took control of the movement, even suppressing and threatening the more peaceful FSA activists. On one side there is the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, AKP and possibly Britain, on the other side there is Iran, Syria, Russia and China. Erdogan himself stated years ago that he was the co-chair of the Greater Middle East Project. Actually when you research the forming of the AKP you'll see the connections to the CIA. It is a long story... Of course Erdogan has his own ambitions too. He wants to go back to the Ottoman times with all the religious ruling and control of the Middle East.

Also I'm an anti-drone person but thinking about McCain and his support of the terrorists, maybe one of them could be used for know for actually a good purpose.

Jun 5, 13 8:52 am

By the way I think this picture does an excellent job describing Recep Tayyip Erdogan:

Jun 5, 13 9:03 am
chatter of clouds

yes, what you're saying is widely understood within the region. but i will just throw one nasty thing in here...perhaps Erdogan has no other choice? if Turkey resists cooperation with the US, well...the US can start supporting Kurds against the Turks, Alevis against the Sunnis, a definitive ruling on the Armenian genocide issue to the 'disfavour' of turkey, etc etc know the US, they're like Al Pacino in the Devil's Advocate. There is no being neutral with them - either they  bully you or seduce you into working with them...or, you become resolutely their enemy and find yourself with no other resolve than working with their other adversaries.  

Jun 5, 13 12:28 pm

No no it is not because he doesn't have a choice. What is happening is, (some part) of the West and the US supports the AKP and in turn AKP is giving them what they want and in turn the West helps them remain in power. This doesn't mean that the West likes the AKP government but I think there is a "many people like the AKP government so we better get along with them" mentality. The Greater Middle East Project includes a free independent Kurdistan:

So right now Erdogan and his thugs are making deals with the head terrorist, Abdullah Ocalan who killed 40,000 Turkish people. 

Also the US will never back the Alevis in Turkey. Alevis gaining the upper hand would never be good for the US government's interests because Alevis are in the minority in the Middle East. They expect the AKP government to influence and "modernize" *cough* the Arab countries and if they were Alevis no one would see them as a role model right? I mean even the Alawites in Syria are not as the same as Turkish Alevis, they're similar but not the same and Alawi group is a branch of Shia. Iranian government is Shia so supporting Shias would definitely be a no no for the US.

I'd like to add that while I criticize the US government's foreign policy, it is not the reason Erdogan is being a tyrant. It is Erdogan's personality, he can't take criticism, he doesn't back off, he doesn't apologize. On the contrary he lashes back at people so we don't see a bright future in front of him. I'd also like to add that 50% of sheeple voted for him and the main opposition party has been so incompetent so it is time everyone take some responsibility for this democracy failure.

Jun 6, 13 12:00 pm
chatter of clouds

Parad0xx86, you know what i'm saying. yes i'm offering a hyperbolic example but this is how the US works within the region, they work opportunistically. they dont need to support alevis directly; they might find a proxy for instance. cause unrest in turkey. turn turk against turk if there is ready turf. but, again, the hyperbole was not to underline a probable route. rather to say that the devil will do god's work if that undermines god (ok, another hyperbole).  turkey is now playing a major role in syria, perhaps because people and the counry- although for the larger part might be against war- are not so incensed as in the rest of the middle east. jordan would fall into a hell of its own making if plays too prominent a role and jordan is somewhat a stabilizing buffer zone in the region even if i don't understand it as a country! then there is lebanon, with its prominent shiite presence...lebanon, quicksand north to south, east to west. so turkey is good. and if the leader is ready to play along, perfect. when the US found that the people of egypt were against whats-his-ugly-face Mubarak and after waiting for the demos to die down, they took the position that would best save them face and gain them new people. or were they cleverer than that? had they forseen this...had they helped people turn against him, had they spread their tentacles in the forms of NGOs or whatnot? i don't know; i'm not so knowledgeable. but for sure, if you don't work with them, you work against them and that won't do!

i thought your concerns exceeded Erdogan's behavioural issues?

Jun 6, 13 12:37 pm
chatter of clouds

as for 50%. well, here's what i think. you can't just call half the country sheep. there is a reason why they voted for him and these might be based on an allergy to what came before him and to the other options available to them. and religion is a powerful thing in the middle east. the 50% might simply fear god a bit more than the other 50%, irrespective of the more superfluous worldly "details" :o)

at that time...

now, the country is different. but i hope the dynamic different does't end up dissipating into lethargic mist.  

Jun 6, 13 12:43 pm

There has been an unrest in Turkey since the 1950ies they say. Probably started with the Cold War. I'm not that old so I don't know how bad it was in the past but older people say there were times when the leftists and the right-wingers were killing each other everyday. They were organized in schools and were even kicking out professors from classes to announce deaths and pay homage to the people who died. Then the military interfered and overthrew both extreme left-wing and extreme right-wing governments so my point is the US doesn't even have to create chaos, there was always clashes between groups of people but I might be wrong..

"i thought your concerns exceeded Erdogan's behavioural issues?"
They do. His behavior just exacerbates the tension. King of Morocco rejected to meet with Erdogan, Tunisia opposition leader Hamma Hammami declined dinner with him and today, with huge ass bags under his eyes he was still talking about building Topçu Kışlası in Taksim. This is a comment "guest-lialaa" wrote for the article "Resentment against Erdogan explodes" I'll just copy paste his/her comment:

"I wrote down a list of items from the top of my head that Erdogan and his gang did on his 3rd term. Please read them and decide yourself whether he is a dictator or not:

- control all the media
- use excessive and brutal police force on the people
- decide who gets the government contracts
- decide whether women can have abortions or not
- decide whether women can have a c-section or not
- suggest how many children a woman should have
- determine when and where people can drink alcohol
- determine what constitutes a decent/proper behaviour for couples in public
- change regular schools into religious (Imam) schools without asking the parents
- order the judges to put select people in jail
- keep people in jail for years without a clear indictment or charge
- order the tax department to investigate people/firms he does not like and fine them
- decide what to do with a park in Istanbul
- help El-Kaide affiliated terrorists in Syria and lie about it
- try to change the government of another country (Syria)
- assume that people are sheep and would accept anything
- try to insert Islamic teachings into the laws
- attempt to make people more religious and state the intention clearly
- insult the founders of the republic by calling them drunks
- call the protestors in Gezi Park hudlums and worse
- insult religious minorities
- have paramilitary forces
- tell people what to watch or not to watch on TV
- interfere in TV channels even about the series that they display
- call people alcoholics regardless of how much or how little they drink
- decide where to build a bridge over bosphorus and even decide its name
- tell people to drink at home
- threaten his own people with unleashing his followers upon them
Please realize that these are just a few examples of his actions. This list can be expanded to thousands of items.
Erdogan is a sociopath, suffers from megalomania, delusional and a coward.
Dear international readers, having read the list, please you decide whether Erdogan is a dictator or not."

We call those people sheep because there is a huge uneducated and illiterate population who don't do any thinking. They believe whatever the TV tells them. Some of them don't even know what Arab Spring is though I gotta say the government controlling 90% of the media has a big effect in this. They're passive and they don't question anything but there also many educated people who finish universities, follow the social media and still believe in the lies the government tells them. I've been arguing with a PHD student on social media. This guy is an Erdogan fan, he defends the police with passion and talks about the "destruction" the protesters cause. A police officer died during the protests and he blamed the protesters but in fact he died because he fell off a bridge while chasing the protesters. One would expect someone with a PHD status could actually do some critical thinking..Cognitive dissonance on stereoids.

What bothers me is a lot of these people lie through their teeth. Some of the police units are covering the numbers on their helmets to avoid identification, they're photographed here:
and Muammer Güler the Minister of Interior says "there is a CLAIM that the police helmets are covered". The Minister for EU Affairs Egemen Bağış says they don't know who is responsible for the police brutality:
while Erdogan claims the people who attacked the US Embassy in Ankara are also present among the protesters. 

It is a mixture of religious pressure, corruption and a disgusting form of capitalism. I'm tired, everyone is tired. They're going to work during the day and protest at night. It is exciting but nerve wrecking at the same time. I'll have to resort to some cold raki as the weekend is approaching...

Jun 6, 13 3:20 pm
chatter of clouds

there was a turkish journalist amongst the BBC Dateline London panelists and he was asked whether it was erdogan himself who was the problem (i'm paraphrasing) or the AKP. the journalist hesitated, slightly, and then said erdogan. the hesitation was quite telling.

i'm puzzled. and i've sensed an indeterminancy amongst the anti-erdogan turks when it came to AKP. why would someone assume that erdogan's policies are seperate from that of the AKP's especially when it comes to the restriction of secular democratic rights based on religious tenets?

as an example, in egypt, Morsi is seen as the paradigm of the Muslim Brotherhood. he is attacked for serving his own religio-political constituency over and above the economic, social and democratic interests of egyptian citizens. both, Morsi and his group are under attack and there is no second guessing about the integral belonging of one to the other.

but there is a lot of talk about erdogan and not enough on the AKP (at least, from what i see on tv).

now i know that any decidedly politically religious group (with a provisional differentiation between politically religious entity and a religious political entity that some won't be able to sense), if given supreme rule will want to place religious restrictions - after all, islam is not only a spiritual system but also a social, economic and political one.

how is the AKP perceived by the other 50% of the turks?

Jun 8, 13 12:01 pm

AKP is the umbrella for many center right communities and political alliances.

Their 50% is not necessarily card carrying AKP supporters. Given the strong leadership and some kind of charisma of Erdogan's (although his charisma is badly slashed with a blade as they say in Turkish) AKP's percentage can easily be reduced to %20. They have got big support from Kurdish voters, old democrats, pro business groups and even some liberals in early years 7-8 years ago.

They really don't have any strong ideology, in fact they have been making it up as they go. One minute they are pro liberalization and next, they are autocratic. One instance they are modern, next, they are extremely traditional. They have been playing popularity soundbites for their bloated 50%.

The 50% on the other side is usually educated, westernized not as Chinese copy cats but in uniquely Turkish modernity. These groups are engaged, unionized, literate and center left. If you look in urban populations in Turkey, you will find a lot of these people who will not compromise their liberties and life styles.

Actually, I don't even think the political battle in Turkey is a religious one, but underneath, a fight between center right and center left.

If the largest social democratic party CHP (Republican Peoples Party) produces a leader who can unify the urban populations and the working class, it would be easily "goodby Erdogan and AKP" next election. I am hoping this kind of leader will be produced in coming months and CHP will reform its cadre and policies. They are too old school "lefty" bureaucrats at the moment who are not as capable of closing contracts filling new orders, purchasing and investing. They don't have a strong position on anything either.

But my analysis is that, the situation is very ripe in Turkey for the emergence of a new leader/s who can be supported by the democratic masses and socialists.

Jun 8, 13 2:03 pm

"why would someone assume that erdogan's policies are seperate from that of the AKP's especially when it comes to the restriction of secular democratic rights based on religious tenets?"

I agree. Erdogan's policies are not separate from AKP policies at all. I don't understand people who are only against Erdogan. AKP needs to go away completely. Some think Abdullah Gul is more moderate than Erdogan..No he is not, he is made up of the same cloth, the only difference is he is much calmer than Erdogan but the mentality is exactly the same. I can count at least a couple of scumbags from top of my head: Bulent Arinc, Abdullah Gul, Egemen Bagis, Ahmet Davutoglu, Muammer Guler and there is Melih Gokcek who would be best suitable as a circus clown. The first 4 people are also the backbone of AKP. I used to say even the leader of MHP (nationalist right wing party) Bahceli would be better than these guys but my opinion changed about him when he said PKK and other terrorist groups were behind the protests so Bahceli being the backyard of AKP we don't have many other options. There is BDP, the party of Kurds and CHP, a modern socialist leaning party. There are a couple of other parties that get 1% of the votes taking away the votes from the main opposition parties.

From what I observed, AKP has two types of followers: the poor, uneducated, pious people and the greedy capitalists who don't mind the creeping Islamism. With the first group AKP can commit all the corruption, tell lies, cause people to die but as soon as they say "Allah" and "religion" these people forgive AKP. I was talking to a few people from the latter group and what these people have is cognitive dissonance on steroids. They don't feel ashamed to label us as provocateurs, vandalists and terrorists and when we show them the pictures from peaceful protests they say we're lying and don't even listen to us. We talk to them about democracy and human rights and they reply talking about banks and interest rates.

I voted CHP in the last elections. Its leader Kilicdaroglu is incompetent. My biggest wish is Emine Ulker Tarhan (another CHP member) taking the leadership of CHP. That woman has more wisdom and balls than Kilicdaroglu but not everyone likes CHP so I fear the votes will get divided between many parties again. We need a new party. Maybe we can call it ÇHP, Çapulcu Public Party.


Jun 8, 13 3:04 pm
chatter of clouds


i appreciate what you said but perhaps you can excuse me for being a bit quizzical about toning down the significance of religion in this. on the other hand, I completely understand Parad0xx86's grievance with the cynical, corrupt and age-old wielding of religion for political and financial benefit and wielding it against one's political adversaries. in fact, we see this everywhere in the middle eastern region.

so, i don't know if this is a valid question but here goes: goes AKP - the core of AKP including Erdogan as a prime party figure and the country's president- does it have a core religious agenda - the further islamization of the political and social milieu and - perhaps- as an ultimate, the adoption of sharia (or what is understood as sharia) as a full fledged system of governance?

Orhan, you say that they're more or less playing it by ear - but, it seems that the signs add up - putting increasing restrictions on alchohol sale and purchase (that might result later on in an altogether ban ), restricting women's rights to choose for themselves and so on (read Parad0xx86's list above) to something quite concrete. so, did AKP always have this agenda that they're slipping in discreetly attempting to  desensitizing people gradually?

Jun 8, 13 4:53 pm

Erdogan's political base has been radicalized by old school nationalists. They will support RTE no matter what because he gave them the agency, business favoritism, gains to their communities, service to their neighborhoods, towns and cities.

He is just going around and making threatening speeches..

"They are actually bussing people to join his public speeches and distributing them the same flags. The real revolution is in Taksim," says one journalist. I am also afraid of some massacre might take a place. RTE is pitching people against one another. And god knows he has a lot of stupid and brutal people supporting his rallies.

But the big difference is now that people seeing the foul play clearly. His masque has been dropped and there is a bullying dictator behind it..

Jun 9, 13 9:38 pm
chatter of clouds

yes, it was making news all over

he puts it across as if the people should be serving the prime minister and not the other way around.



Jun 10, 13 1:38 am

Possibly the worst police reaction so far came today. When the police first arrived in Taksim in the early morning, they made announcements that they only wanted to clear the main square and take down the political banners and assured the protesters that they would not enter Gezi Park. 

Only a few moments later, following a pathetic theatrical display of "violent protesters,"  the police started gassing the peaceful protesters in Gezi Park. There are now hundreds if not thousands of people injured from today alone. They also went into a court house and arrested 50 lawyers for allegedly protesting.

Regarding the "violent protesters:" Most video and photographic evidence seems to suggest that these were cops disguised as protesters to justify police taking violent action to clear the park. They were wearing the same gas masks as the riot police and threw molotov cocktails, which had not made an appearance so far over protests going on in 70+ cities over two weeks. The same media that were showing penguin documentaries were live the instant the protesters allegedly started attacking the police.

Here is a video of the "violent protesters"

Here is Guardian's page with all of the updates throughout the day

This is an image from this morning showing two photographs. One on the left is part of the group that was throwing molotov cocktails, one on the right is a lawyer in front of the court house.

Jun 11, 13 5:32 pm

A Turkish lawyer being beaten by the police beneath the feet of Themis. This photo will most probably become one of the symbol images for the Turkish protests of 2013.

Jun 11, 13 5:53 pm

Erdogan was democratically elected by legit elections and he has a lot of supporters within Turkey - they also have their voice.

I really don't understand Americans at all sometimes.  Everyone makes such a big goddamn hooplah about American political candidates' Christian roots and how great it is that he/she has a personal connection tot heir sky-god.  However, overseas you sprinkle the words "Muslim" or "Islamic leanings" suddenly they are terrorists, fanatics, and radical Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers.

Erdogan may have his flaws (all politicians do) but he is very much in support of Turkey's secular and democatic roots.  The fact that he is a pius Muslim should be his personal decision and one that people ought' to just shut the fuck up about and respect.

Jun 12, 13 2:00 pm

when erdogan supporters rally, there tends to be very little tear gas.  when people think he's overstepping his authority, they're gassed or beaten or shot with rubber bullets.  the difference, from my very distant perspective, doesn't have much to do with either sky-god.

i would also say it's not right for a political leader to create laws around the sky god.  for example, he shouldn't write liquor laws based on his religious texts.  i should be able to decide for myself if i want a beer or at what time i should be able to drink a beer.  of course laws like those that prohibit drunk driving are necessary for the protection of public health and safety.  other than that, i don't really see this as focused on religion.  it was more focused on the government taking a public park and giving it to someone close to erdogan so that person could make piles of money.  very little for the working class to gain, lots to lose.  that sort of thing exacerbates income inequality.

Jun 12, 13 2:35 pm

.med, have you actually read a single sentence that was written on this thread?

Jun 12, 13 3:09 pm

Your post is uninformed at best. Erdogan is in no way  in support of democracy or secularism. The only way I can see someone believing that is if all of your information comes from his own rhetoric.

When Erdogan supporters rally, there is absolutely no tear gas. Public busses get designated to go pick up his supporters from the party headquarters and take them to wherever he is. When he returned from Africa, he held a rally at the airport at 2am (while maintaining that protests at Gezi Park and Taksim Square were illegal). They delayed his plane by 4 hours because only a handful of his supporters showed up on their own initiative at the scheduled arrival. They kept the subway open past midnight. Cops (his army, as he likes to call them) facilitated all of this, of course.

Meanwhile, millions of his own people from every section of the political spectrum, in every major city, were getting tear gassed and beaten by the police for trying to peacefully trying to protest his oppression.

Jun 12, 13 3:26 pm
chatter of clouds

med., many many turkish intellectuals and a very large number of regular people are coming out against Erdogan. there are, to borrow your adjective, legit reasons for this. your dismissal is condescending and unreasonable.  

demcracy is not only dependent on elections. what happens after this is governed by democratic principles. apparently, he doesn't abide by these. you don't run a country as if its a family&friends' business. you don't shove your own principles down people's throats. you don't force abortion policies on women that result in back-alley abortions for raped women who  can't afford to travel to europe and get it done there. the issue is not whether he is himself pious. you don't throw every other journalist into jail for taking a critical stance on goverment policies. and where is the piety in all that?

for myself as a non-turk, i have my own reasons to hold the guy in suspecion. his role in- what is now effectively- the dissolution of syria and his collusion with al qaeda affiliated individuals and groups allowing them to infiltrate syria (a secular state), his role as an active agent on one side of the sectarian schism, his attitude towards minorities in the region, his turkey's complicity in the kidnapping of lebanese shia.  i am not necessarily coming out in full support of the other side...but the turkish catalyst has been to the detriment of the region.

i will tell you that he is good at theatrics. like with the gaza flotilla affair. erdogan got really upset with israel so waht did he do?  he upped the economic exchange between the two countries  while putting on a show of discontinuing the military one. and then he then got an apology  for reasons that have nothing to do with what israel sees as right or wrong! all hail Erdogan; the only middle eastern leader to get an apology from israel. and in the meantime, it was still status quo in gaza. poor palestine, always destined to be both the alibi and the scapegoat. and now, poor syria.  

Jun 12, 13 3:36 pm


Paradoxx, mercifully, since you accuse me of ruining a thread because of my "sheer ignorance" you would be able to site those examples and bring up instances of such "sheer ignorance" - let alone refute it.  By nature you provide nothing - just churlish half-witted personal insults.  This is an indication that you are a waste of time.  You know this.

All I am saying is the guy was elected - was he not?  Please inform the masses since you all seem to be "experts" of Turkey and the Middle East - explain to us of the fictional coup de etat that put Erdogan in power - that you mental giants keep pontificating.  And for that matter please cite specifuc examples of what Erdogan has done to reduce the power of the military and the institutions that provide democracy in Turkey.  Turkey always been the picture perfect definition of 'military republic' and in a few cases the military HAS indeed interjected and cut off elected leaders.  That structure seems to be holding in place no matter what spin you put on it and if they had a problem they would have put the bag over Erdogan in a second.

Don't forget he was jailed once for quoting the Holy Quran - something you "great defenders of secularism and democracy" were thrilled by as well as being humbled by countless CNN articles explaining how " Christian faith" shaped so many American republican and democrat candidates.

You're way too predictable.

Jun 12, 13 4:03 pm

tammuz, your post is actually reasonable - unlike these other pro-Israel clowns who seem to have the need to have their heads surgically removed from Netanyahu's ass.  They are the same clowns who grotesquley expressed their admiration and support for Israel's subjugation and continued occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and even went so far as to say that the Palestinians don't deserve a homeland at all  - you know the typical Islamophobic drill Americans are so inundated with.  This is why I always have suspicions of the criticism leveled against Erdogan because they here the word 'Islam' - they jump that bandwagon and they fear and dislike him because of a blinded bigotry and not the actual issues - this is something we see all the time.

I've not saying I support Erdogan.  I am appalled by his support for anti-Shia groups in Syria and the shadier elements all over the world including the #1 U.S. ally - Saudi Arabia.  I just think that when people talk about his leadership as if he was Saddam and Assad or some other dictatorship, it actually undermines the people who suffer from TRUE dictatorship.  And I find that only the American right has the hardest time with the definition of "dictatorship" as you hear many of them pontificate on how Obama created a dictatorship in the US.

Jun 12, 13 4:19 pm

"Paradoxx, mercifully, since you accuse me of ruining a thread because of my "sheer ignorance" you would be able to site those examples and bring up instances of such "sheer ignorance" - let alone refute it.  By nature you provide nothing - just churlish half-witted personal insults."

.med, I already had a conversation with tammuz, if your scroll a little bit up you'll see my explanations but since you're utterly clueless about Turkey I won't even bother to engage in a discussion with you. If you claim that Erdogan was democratically elected (he wasn't, the elections were rigged and there is some US involvement in the elections that would take a long time to write) then the burden of proof is on you. 

"Please inform the masses since you all seem to be "experts" of Turkey and the Middle East"
I guess being Turkish and living in Turkey makes me an expert so who are you to lecture me on Turkish politics?

"unlike these other pro-Israel clowns who seem to have the need to have their heads surgically removed from Netanyahu's ass."
If you counted me among those people I'd like to remind you that I stated that I'm completely against the war in Syria. As tammuz said, Syria is a secular country and it is being invaded by foreign backed terrorists, these terrorists are also aided by Israel so that makes me against Israel in this situation. Also if you think that Erdogan plays for your team and not the US-Israel team I have a bridge in Manhattan to sell you.

First go read a couple of things about Turkey, talk to other Turkish people and then come and write over here. You attack people while hiding behind your anonymity like a coward. Right now you're not even worth talking to. You have serious issues man, serious.

Jun 12, 13 4:32 pm
chatter of clouds

med., i think you are being too hasty and prejudging some here based on what you've experienced with others. none of the above posts betray any pro-israeli sentiment. and none of these posts - except for mine above- approach this subject with israel even vaguely in mind.

i would say it is fair to assume that Parad0xx86 and Orhan are better informed on things turkish than the rest of us.

and actually, since you mention the American right, wouldn't you say that warmongering Republicans (who are dragging the rest of the US admin) are in cohoots with the Turkish govrnment and the al Qaeda types? what a strange unholy alliance. yes, Republicans giving support to Al Qaeda with the mediation of Turkey.  

actually, it seems to me that Erdogan's opportunistic manipulations - political, economical and social- both outside Turkey and within Turkey increasingly make him closer in nature to the Conservatives in the US. would you call the republicans democratic in nature although they might be elected democratically. would you say Bush and his admin were  democratically principled?

Jun 12, 13 4:55 pm


It's always entertaining when "internet tough guys" like this Parradox85 clown cries fowl when he is attacked but then is the first one to have started hurling the idiotic insults and is the who is hiding behind his anonymity himself while continuing to hurl lame insults..  You don't like it?  Practice what you preach and stomach it with a grin.  I know that being a hypocrite is a part of who you are and your nature, but try to make an exception for once.

Jun 12, 13 5:03 pm

And sorry to break to many of our Western friends here, but Turks will never convert to Christianity en masse like you predict.  Sorry to be the barer of this news.

Jun 12, 13 5:05 pm

Tammuz, Americans have always supported Al-Qaeda and if it wasn't FOR America - Saudi-backed Al Qaeda would have never existed.

I don't claim to know a lot about Turkey.  I had the pleasure of visiting a great many times and it is absolutely nothing like its Arab neighbors to the south.  I've also been to Iran and it too is nothing like either Turkey or the Arab World.  I think it's insulting and undermining to claim that Turkey - whether it's Erdogan, Bulent, or the Attaturk himself was a dictator.

I think we are all somewhat on the same page but you all don't see it and are more focused on this silly brow-beating game of "I know more than you and want to insult you" kind of game.

Jun 12, 13 5:16 pm
chatter of clouds


i don't think anyone described Erdogan as a fully fledged dictator the equal of Saddam Hussein. I think the concern is Erdogan's increasing encroachment on what are seen by many in his country to be their private and public rights. this is the feedback he's getting and he's been obviously mismanaging the feedback.  

while one might not call him a fuly fledged dictator, it does seem like he has dictatorial tendencies. for instance, amongst others, enforcing comprehensive media censorship, a common dictatorial trait:

if you excuse me for saying this - and this is because i am actually sympathetic to your root concern- your reluctance to sympathize with the rebelling segment of the turkish society seems to go hand-in-hand with your opposition to  the influential anti-islamic pro-zionist elements in the US. so, you hear someone criticizing islam and any figure associated with islam and that prompts you to defend.

i think that is not fair to the rebelling turks, some of whom are actually - as reported on tv- religious people themselves with leftist outlook. i think you're using an irrelevant/uncontextual and simplistic yardstick to measure them against.

also, it is not so easy to make outright judgements on whether one was an absolutely historically good/democratic or absolutely bad/despotic figurehead.  Attaturk is actually classified by many as a dictator and it is not strange to see it that way. in order to turn the islamic residue of ottaman empire to a country of secularism, he acted dictatorially and oppresively against the will of a segment of his people.  while there might be many who might see what he did as a necessary act to save his country, there is no question that his was the firm hand ready to act forcefully against any opposition. was it bad having such a "dictator"? for many many turks, absolutely not - he is revered. while they might not want to call him a dictator because that would signify his harbouring an opposite will to that his people (where it actually afforded the land with renewed energy and give birth to a more egalitarian and society), for sure, his methods were not democratic; they were brutal, oppressive and fatal at times.

but you can't measure the present time with the dynamics and semantics of a previous time. Erdogan now is obviously not being a progressive; he's being regressive.

Jun 13, 13 2:43 am

I'll give a very brief story of how Erdogan came to power.
As of the 1980s Graham Fuller and Paul Henze started saying "Ataturkism is dead. The period of nation-state is over. Turkey should adopt a multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multicultural structure like the Ottoman Empire. The best way to do it is following the road of moderate Islam." Graham Fuller is the original owner of the "moderate Islam" definition.
It was the CIA Station Chief Graham Fuller who wanted a new movement to be born within the Walfare Party and for this purpose, in 1996 Fuller gave advice to Abdullah Gul. It was even said that Tayyip Erdogan was going to be the Prime Minister and Abdullah Gul was going to be  Foreign Minister.

During the collapse of DSP (Democratic Left Party), Abdullah Gul had meetings with the CFR's (Council on Foreign Relations) Morton Abramowitz and the US Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Marc Grossman. Tayyip Erdogan joined the Welfare Party in 1984.
When he was the president of the Beyoglu district, he also met with Morton Abramowitz and contacted Graham Fuller. Erdogan was also having meeting with Elizabeth Shelton of the US Adana Embassy, Caroline Hagins of US Istanbul Embassy and the CIA official Kenny Bob.

Before Erdogan founded AKP, when he met with the Israeli Ambassador David Sultan in 2001 it was reflected in the press as "Erdogan guaranteed that the newly formed party will never be opposed to the Israel and the US politics." In the meantime, Abdullah Gul was visiting the British Ambassador Sir David Logan and informing him about the new party formation process. During that time Graham Fuller was also saying that the young people in the Welfare Party will get more powerful and be the leaders of moderate Islam.

At the end, all the legal obstacles in front of Tayyip Erdogan were magically removed. Erdogan was put in the TBMM (The Turkish National Assembly) via illegitimate elections (you can hear the details in this video: then was appointed as the head of AKP.

On behalf of the United States, Dinesh D'Souza said "We should transform Islamic fundamentalism. We should liberate them." thus this idea  was used to invade all the Middle East.
Fuller then wrote a book called "The New Republic of Turkey," and showed the project as an attempt to remove Turkey from being a Turkish Republic and replace it with Ottomanism.

In Stratfor correspondences, it is stated that Erdogan said to Kissinger "At some point bridges will be formed with Israel, moving towards an Islamic world". According to Kissinger  "Erdogan intends to become the leader of the Islamic world".

Kissinger is a strong Jewish nationalist. Erdogan says he will build bridges with Israel! When did he build the bridges? With the "One minute," theatrical show and the Mavi Marmara ship raid.

As far as the elections..they were manipulated and rigged. In the last elections out of 76 million people 55 million voted and they got 21 million votes total. We have a threshold and votes for parties who don't make it to 10% threshold are all wasted.  We all know that they give poor people coal, pasta, TVs, fridges to gain their votes but in addition to those the dead people in this country can vote and old people with Alzheimer's. In this video: a lawyer who was assigned to a role of supervisor at a voting center. She talks about how hundreds of elderly people who barely walk was be forced to vote. These people didn't even remember their names and ages when they were asked let alone knew who they were voting for. She talks how she opposed at these people voting and how angry the AKP supporters became, to the point that they were going to lynch her.

Also in this video:
Necmettin Erbakan the first Islamist Prime Minister of Turkey and the leader of the Welfare Party in the late 80s and early 90s, talks about how the foreign powers helped AKP. Unfortunately I don't have the time to translate all that stuff but I'll translate a couple of sentences.
"They are doing 5 things. First, they controlled all the media. Second, they bought all the banks. Buying a bank doesn't mean buying the building. It means it is threatening people who borrow credit from those banks with bankruptcy. Other than that they bought all the national enterprises. They have a hold on the whole economy"

They weakened the powers of the military, they control the business, all the media and the judicial system.

Jun 13, 13 7:25 am

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