Monday, June 3, 2013

Turkey: protests continue, police more cautious now

Protests continued in huge numbers in Turkish cities yesterday, although at least police aggressiveness seemed more contained and focused on impeding protesters from reaching governmental centers such as the Prime Minister's residence in Ankara. 

The media only seems to confirm as of now two mortal victims (some reports suggested yesterday that up to four but not confirmed). However injured and arrested citizens are counted by the thousands. 

The situation was calmer in Istanbul, where Taksim Square has been reoccupied by the protesters, while the clashes seemed focused in Ankara, where demonstrators attempted to reach the government buildings even using excavators. 

Turkey is traditionally an authoritarian "democracy", where police and army have kept a firm grip over the people, be them Turkish or Kurds. However these days have shown that the Turkish citizens are not anymore fearful of police or at least that they level of anger has overcome the obstacle of fear. 

The reactionary AKP (islamic-democrats, akin to European christian-democrats, i.e. very reactionary under a thin "democratic" varnish) which has ruled the country in the last decade has combined a populist nationalist "neo-Ottoman" discourse (with even formal conflicts with its traditional Zionist ally but a stronger compromise with reactionary old-school Islamism in the region, promoted by the USA, Saudi Arabia and Israel) with reactionary policies of dismantling of Kemalist secularism (the most radical of its kind in all West Eurasia since the collapse of the Stalinist regimes of Eastern Europe) and continuity of Kemalist autocracy within a formal "democracy". 

The people in the streets have therefore all kind of grievances, from economy to ecology, from authoritarianism to re-islamization of society. The hyper-violent repression of a peaceful urban-ecologist camp in Istanbul triggered therefore the barely contained anger of a population that now demands the immediate resignation of the government that has betrayed the representative legitimacy by going in murderous rampage against the citizens.

Partial source: Webguerrillero[es].

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