Saturday, 13 July 2024

Protests in Turkey: A Turkish Spring?

The events in Turkey are being watched with interest. There have been disquieting reports over the last year that the ruling Islamic conservative party the Justice and Development Party (AKP) were beginning to tighten their grip on Turkish political and social life. All manner of citizens were concerned, liberals, nationalists, social democrats and socialists. The initial protest over turning a public park into a shopping mall started small but quickly mushroomed in reaction to the brutal police reaction. As National Liberals we view with disquiet the reaction of the Police to legitimate and peaceful protest and the steady erosion of civil liberties in general. Our National Liberal correspondent in Turkey, Ozgur Karakok, sends us this report.

At the beginning it was to save 600 trees and the park area at the center of Istanbul by Taksim square. However, faced with the horrifying attack by the Turkish police force on the protesters campaigning against the redevelopment of Gezi Park in Istanbul it grew into something more. Whilst the protest started small, it soon became an example of the struggle for more freedoms in Turkey. Mass protests spread all over Turkey because of bans and pressure on people to adopt Islamic rules and the unfair actions of public institutions. The latter in particular is seen as evidence of orchestrated political processes and control over the executive, legislative and judicial branches of Government by Turkey’s ruling party ,Islamist conservative party AKP.

The excessive use of power by police raids is in the social media on facebook, twitter, and YouTube. The police are beating everyone they catch and these attacks are often seen in many cities. This barbarous action, in the so-called name of democracy, freedom of speech, and human rights, is a disgrace. Many of us worry about the fate of the many protesters held by police at police stations and their consequences are still not known and there is a suspicion that violence is visited upon them.

Now AKP is not keeping promises and there is no democracy anymore in Turkey for there is a dictatorship regime and there is a change from a secular to Islamist state. AKP is abandoning all the good things that secularism brought to them and us all slowly but surely.

I will try to tell you that how Turks allowed AKP come to power:

First of all I can tell you that people were not happy with the previous system and legislation because for a long time it was infested with corruption and the public body lost its fidelity, dependability and reliability in the eyes of the people. This gives them (AKP) a chance to tell lies and create a scenario of hope to the public to entice them to reject the past dogmas. I can also tell you that the elections have been worth by fraud twice since 2002 and that AKP party won the election. Later I can tell you that Turkish people are not very familiar with the concept of democracy and people’s ability to adopt democracy is taking time to process, if you compare any developed country’s people with the Turkish people I can really tell you that there are couple decades of a period of maturity for Turkish people to reach those developed countries peoples level. Finally I can tell you that most of those protesters belong to younger generation so they are very adaptable to change but their future expectations are equal to their generation expectations in developed countries. They do not belong to any political party or group and all have different political point of view and thoughts. They know their individual rights and freedoms and they know that they deserve respect as citizens. And the people (the civilians) understand that they are the protectors of the Ataturk legacy and no longer the army because over the last 10 years all the secular generals have been removed from the army by AKP through several dirty tricks.

At the end of it all we will see whether these protests are able to open a door for a Turkish Spring or just the anger of the people which calms down over time? I hope it is the latter.

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