[update below] [2nd update below] [3rd update below] [4th update below]
The police are tear gassing Taksim and beating up people as I write. Not looking good…
In the meantime, a few links from the past few days.
If one didn’t see it, The Economist had a good overview three days ago, “The new Young Turks,” in which it examined Erdoğan’s “ham-fisted response” to the protests. Talk about an understatement.
Istanbul-based journalist Joseph Logan has a good piece in MERIP, “In search of the building blocks of opposition in Turkey.”
The lefty webzine Jadaliyya has had a number of good articles and commentaries on the events, including an interview with Haluk Şahin, Istanbul-based communications professor and media person, who discusses the “Turkish media’s moral bankruptcy.” See as well the piece by UCLA and Columbia doctoral candidates Timur Hammond and Elizabeth Angell, “Is everywhere Taksim?: Public space and possible publics.”
For her part, Harvard doctoral candidate Zeynep Pamuk, in “a letter from Istanbul” in The Utopian, weighs in on “The 50 Percent,” which is what the Gezi Park protesters know they are (i.e. they would never claim to represent 99% of the Turkish population).
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s foreign affairs columnist Trudy Rubin discusses some “Clues on Turkey in jailing of educator” Kemal Gürüz. Her column begins
If you want to understand why tens of thousands of young urban Turks have been demonstrating against their government, you need look no further than the tragic plight of Kemal Guruz. Guruz, one of Turkey’s most distinguished academic reformers and the onetime head of Turkey’s Higher Education Council (known as YOK), has been held without charges in a maximum-security prison for nearly a year.
A reminder of the on-going Ergenekon/Balyoz affair. On the matter of conspiracy theories, they’re naturally all over the Internet in regard to the current protests. If one looks for them, one will find them. One I’ve come across is by a flaky Indian retired career diplomat—and ambassador to Turkey in the immediate pre-AKP years (all going to show that one can rise to a senior position in a major diplomatic service and be a flake)—named M.K. Bhadrakumar, who has a column on the website Asia Times (which will publish absolutely anything), “Et tu, Gül? Then fall, Erdoğan,” in which he suggests that the Turkey protests may all be a US-Gülenist plot… No joke.
As the US’s strings are, of course, pulled by the
Jews Zionists, well, we know who’s really behind it all… (the good former diplomat doesn’t bluntly state it in these terms, though does hint at it toward the end; just connect the dots, as they say; ou suivez mon regard…).
The Gezi Park protesters would no doubt disagree that they’re mere dupes in a larger conspiracy. As one explains in this Amnesty International YouTube, they just “want the Prime Minister to listen.” Too bad he’s not the listening type.
And here are “25 examples of the best street humour from Istanbul, Gezi Park (#occupygezi) protests.” I doubt any conspiracy could come up with these.
UPDATE: VICE has a must watch video of “The lawyers of Istanbul [clashing] with police today.”
2nd UPDATE: On the WaPo opinion page, Steven A. Cook has an op-ed (dated June 7th) on “How Europe can save Turkey.”
3rd UPDATE: On the matter of conspiracy theories, the Turkish Press Review Blog has a post (June 13th) on how some in Turkey are alleging that the “‘Gezi Park protests [are] fuelled by foreign media’.”
4th UPDATE: Fehim Taştekin, columnist and chief editor of foreign news at the Istanbul daily Radikal, has a piece (dated June 10) in Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on “The religious voice of the chapuls.”