5
Jun

Turks rise up against Islamist

By Benny Avni

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Washington foreign-policy circles have long treated Turkey as a role model — a place where political Islam and democracy live in harmony. Reality just shattered that ideal.

A small protest that started late last week at the heart of Istanbul has spread to Ankara and other cities, mushrooming into nationwide rallies against Turkey’s increasingly imperious prime minister, Recep Tayyep Erdogan.

One graffiti splashed across an Istanbul storefront declared in English, “Tayyep is a d–k.”

A bit crude, but Erdogan was just as insulting on TV Sunday, calling his critics “looters” and vowing never to bow to their demands. And his police were more than insulting: They attacked protesters with tear gas and water cannons, injuring over 100 and, according to some reports, killing at least one.

As Erdogan arrogantly leaves the country for a North African tour, Turkey’s largest trade union is organizing a nationwide strike in solidarity with the protests.

It all began with a rally against the looming loss of Gezi Park, an open space graced with ancient trees near Taksim Square, Istanbul’s liveliest section.

A former Istanbul mayor, Erdogan came up with the plan to demolish the green patch and convert it to a shopping mall designed to look like Ottoman-era military barracks. It’s part of a larger drive to erase all symbols of the secularist past, including the Ataturk Center in the heart of Taksim Square — a building dedicated to the founder of Turkey’s post-Ottoman democracy, which Erdogan wants to replace with a mosque. Read more…

As published in www.nypost.com on June 4, 2013.

Comments

This is a topic that is close to my heart.
.. Cheers! Where are your contact details though?

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