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Thousands of Turks join protests defying Erdogan

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Thousands of Turks Join Protests Defying Erdogan

Al Manar

Thousands of infuriated Turks took to the streets on Saturday to join mass anti-government protests, defying Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call to end the worst civil unrest of his decade-long rule.

From the early morning, protesters began arriving in Istanbul’s Taksim Square with food and blankets to settle in for a weekend of protests, adding to the growing tent city in nearby Gezi Park.

Fresh demonstrations were also planned in the capital Ankara as the unrest entered its ninth day.

Erdogan on Friday called for an immediate end to the protests, saying his Islamist-rooted government was open to “democratic demands” but insisting that the protests were “bordering on vandalism.”…


Turkish Affairs Analyst to al-Ahed:Turks Fed Up with Erdogan

by Israa Ray, Al Ahed news

Out of nowhere, most cities in Turkey witnessed flowing citizens who took to the streets in ongoing protests against the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his policies.

Erdogan’s excessive use of force against peaceful protesters and its relation with the events in the region raises the question; what’s next?

Will there be a Turkish Spring and revolution like those in Arab countries?
What is behind US State Secretary John Kerry’s “concern” to Erdogan’s handling of matters?

In an attempt to unveil some aspects of the Turkish crisis, English al-Ahed News interviewed the Turkish affairs analyst and journalist Mohammad Nourieddine tells Website.

The Beginning of a Turkish Uprising

“If we look to the nature of the social groups participating in the Taksim square protests, we would find that most of them are from the young age group no older than 30 years old,” the Turkish affairs analyst Mohammad Nourieddine told our website.

He further revealed that “70% of protesters, according to recent studies conducted days ago, showed that protesters are not affiliated to any political group, but belong to the civil society.”

“This in my opinion gives the movement new and modern dimensions and perhaps gives it a continuous trait in the future. So I would call this movement an uprising,” he added.

Moreover, when asked if matters could lead to Erdogan’s resignation, the analyst answered, “No, this is unlikely because Erdogan himself challenged protesters that the elections are their judge. Democratically speaking, this is sound. However, realistically speaking; it is not, because if that were the case, these people would not have taken to the streets in the first place.”

Truth of Turkish Protests

Whether the Turkish protests are truly about Gezi Park only, Mohammad Nourieddine said, “[Gezi Park] was a trigger. People are fed with [Erdogan]. Changing the features of Taksim square was the spark that ignited the Turkish uprising.”

“There are demands related to the Taksim square and Gezi Park, but other demands are purely political, such as showing respect to the Alawites in Turkey – especially when Erdogan named a bridge after Sultan Salim who killed Alawites and civilians – and changing the government’s stance towards Syria,” Nourieddine told al-Ahed.

Moreover, the expert highlighted that “this movement is a popular one against Erdogan’s government, and includes secular groups, Alawites, journalists who face huge pressure, and all other groups.”

“This uprising is against the attempts of Islamizing the government into a racial, sectarian, and non-democratic regime,” he viewed.

Turkish Protests Related to Syrian Crisis?

Asked whether there is any relation between the Turkish movements and the Syrian crisis, Nourieddine argued, “There is no doubt that the Syrian crisis has something to do with the protests today but it is however not a decisive factor.”

“It is part of the protests, because one of the opposition’s demands is for Turkey to stop its involvement in regional wars. This ultimately means that events in Syria reflect losses to the Turkish citizen,” the analyst affirmed.

Regarding the Kurd armed men withdrawing from Turkey to Iraq from May until now and its relation with events in Turkey, he remarked, “The Kurd-Turkish conciliation is related to the regional situations to try to prevent the Kurdish factor from being a pressure card on the Turkish government.”

US Secretary of State’s “Concern” Towards Turkish Protests

As for the concern that US Secretary of State John Kerry’s displayed towards Erdogan’s use of excessive force against protesters, the Turkish affairs analyst Mohammad Nourieddine said, “There is total contact between the US and Turkey, but that does not mean that there won’t be any differences between the two.

“I believe that the US makes use of the events in Turkey to exert pressure on Erdogan and prevent him from obstructing a political solution for Syria in the upcoming Geneva 2 conference,” he believed.


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