Turkey: Peaceful protests turns violent as police force escalates

Turkey: Peaceful protests turns violent as police force escalates

This is a discussion on Turkey: Peaceful protests turns violent as police force escalates within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Not sure how many of you have been following the ongoing events in Turkey but I find them quite interesting in how it may relate ...

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Thread: Turkey: Peaceful protests turns violent as police force escalates

  1. #1
    Member Array ItalianSteel's Avatar
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    Turkey: Peaceful protests turns violent as police force escalates

    Not sure how many of you have been following the ongoing events in Turkey but I find them quite interesting in how it may relate to the direction we are going. Wikipedia's Current Events article for some background

    I think this USA Today article points out some good things (emphasis mine):

    It was a watershed moment with leftists, rightists, nationalists, minorities and even rival football fans marching and singing alongside as the crowds swelled on Taksim Square.

    One group of young men raised beer cans chanting "Cheers, Tayyip!" — referring to the recent alcohol law — which drew giggles from three middle-aged women in Islamic headscarves.

    Celebrating Saturday in Gezi Park — still slated for demolition — Turhan Duru said most Turks are law-abiding citizens but every society has a collective breaking point and that the government had touched a nerve.

    "We have respect for the government and even the police," he said. "But we had to react."
    Some of the initial video you find will show how things escalated from peaceful protest to somewhat violent (throwing rocks) once the police showed up with tear gas and the water hoses. From what I can tell, the numbers have only grown from thousands, to ten thousands, and now hundreds of thousands (it may even be past a million now).

    While it's easy to find video of the riot police doing their thing, I find this video particularly interesting:

    I really admire the solidarity of the people. I know some may perceive their actions as "right" or "wrong," but I personally find people standing up for their rights and liberties as one of the most beautiful things in the world. It may be easy to pass judgement as "they are fighting the police, they are all bad" but I feel that is quite narrow-minded of a view. Government abuse is no stranger to these countries and there is a clear line in the sand that has been crossed. It is their (the people's) country, if they choose to fight for it, so be it.

    What I think of is how this may parallels to America at some point if we keep heading the way we are. Unfortunately, I don't think we'd have the 'luxury' of dealing with tear gas and water hoses first, we might get lead instead.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    Good for the Turkish people, keep standing up. I might have to look a little closer at those Caniks and Stoegers.
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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Maybe I've missed something. Turkey is by design a non religious government and far less tyrannical than most countries in that region. And tens of thousands of Turks were violently rioting because a park is being turned into a mall.

    And Benghazi was the result of a Youtube video.
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    VIP Member Array ANGLICO's Avatar
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    Molson Labe: In Turkey, a Beer Rebellion
    Turkey's Islamist president Erdogan continues imposing his Islamist way of life on the public. Recently he attempted to curb drinking, calling anyone who sips a beer an "alcoholic."

    It spurred some demonstrations. The protesters were also objecting to Erdogan's development initiatives, tearing down parks to build shopping centers. There's also an anti-Islam element to this part of the protest: Protesters object to Erdogan's habit of targeting cinemas and other such places of Western depravity in order to build malls (with the construction contracts going to his cronies, critics say).

    Public anger has flared among urban and secular Turks after police violently broke up an anti-development sit-in in the square, with protests spreading to other cities as demonstrators denounced what they see as Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian style.
    As the furious protests entered its second day, police fired tear gas and turned on water cannons at angry demonstrators, some of whom threw rocks and bottles on their march toward the city's landmark Taksim Square.


    At Taksim, protesters chanted "Tayyip resign!" Turkish celebrities joined the crowds, with thousands milling around the square, waving flags, and cheering and clapping at anti-government speeches. Many drank beer in protest of newly enacted alcohol curbs, singing "cheers Tayyip!"

    A Bing translation of the Le Monde article (which has more background than the Fox article, and those two pictures hotlinked above) is here.

    Everywhere the alcohol flows in streams, beer bottles knocked together in toasts, and, contrary to custom, people drinking openly in the street. Street vendors make their trade and roam with buckets of ice-cooled bottles. The demonization, the repeated stigmatisation of drinkers of alcohol by the Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the measures of restriction of consumption were one of the many elements that have fed this revolt.
    "Mr. Erdogan wants to rail against our mode of life, he does not tolerate people who love art, or who live a Western lifestyle. He destroyed historic buildings, cinemas and theatres to the replace with horrible shopping centers built by his friends', railed Erkan, father of a family of 55 years, came with his wife and two teenage children. Later, a young woman with a group of friends gives a similar notice. "His vision of the Turkish family and women is totally retrograde", said Esra, a beer in one hand, a Turkish flag in the other.

    The protesters seek media coverage, as they haven none in their own country.

    Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was facing the biggest challenge to his 10-year rule this weekend as parts of Istanbul turned into a war zone. Violent clashes took place between riot police and tens of thousands of demonstrators outraged at the heavy-handed response of authorities to an environmental protest on Friday.
    The eruption of frustration with Erdogan's government spread to a dozen other Turkish cities overnight and supporters gathered worldwide in Boston, London, Barcelona and Amsterdam to voice solidarity with the protesters.


    Several overturned police and municipal vehicles were covered in graffiti demanding the government resigns.

    "This is our museum", explained one protester, laughing. "Memories of the days when a dictator ruled Turkey!"


    Sirri Sureyya Onder, an MP from the Kurdish Peace and Democracy party (BDP), who was injured by a teargas cartridge on Saturday, said the government had gone too far in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.

    "They are rebelling against all of this now. People are fed up with this lack of public discussion, with the disrespect, the immoderateness, the lawlessness and the authoritarianism of this government. It is not very good at apologising. But this time I think it will have to."

    The lack of media coverage has further inflamed tension on the streets. "There is a total media blackout on this in Turkey, the Turkish media silent on the protests; they all collaborate with the government," said 21-year-old student Ayse Sarac. "We follow the foreign news coverage to get more information."

    I think the greatest propaganda against Islamist government is Islamist government itself. Egypt is also discovering this, of course.

    Headline Joke: "Canadian Protester" quipped "Molson's Labe" in the comments, and so I stole that for the headline.

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  5. #5
    Member Array ItalianSteel's Avatar
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    To be fair, the parks they are demolishing have strong historic value. It would be akin to NYC deciding to demolish Central Park to build another Saks Fifth Avenue or Macy's. Would you blame New Yorkers for having a peaceful sit in, simply refusing to leave in order to prevent the bulldozers from clearing the trees? What if NYPD then came in with tear gas, pressurized hoses, and lit up the place for 4 days, beating people profusely?

    That park in Turkey is a world-famous tourist spot already. It has been the place of many demonstrations and protests in the past. The fact that such a place is the grounds of government walking on free speech is really the salt in the wound, the flashpoint. Combined with the government's already iron grip on free speech (media not allowed to report on ANY of this along with a social media blackout), people are fed up.

    Now, the way the police handled the protests (responding to a sit in with tear gas and pressurized hoses) was merely the flashpoint of "alright, we've had enough of this crap." Their government has imposed more and more restrictions on the people and it has gotten to the point of absurdity (laws on the color of lipstick an air stewardess can wear, no lie). The people from every social group are banding together to show they have had enough of their government's ridiculous overbearing attitude (sound familiar yet)?

    Like I mentioned, it started out as a 50-some person demonstration. Once the police came in using excessive force, it turned into hundreds and then thousands. Now it's a riot that has turned violent with probably millions across several locations all banding together. They've formed their own 'riot squads' and even have commandeered a Caterpillar digger (reminds me of the 2006 Hungarian riots with the T-34 tank):

    I'm going to go ahead and say this will turn even more violent soon. Police have begun firing tear gas at/into homes in the streets (seemingly indiscriminately). I don't know about you but if I was caught in the middle of a protest as an innocent party merely staying inside my home and was having tear gas fired into it, I'd be pissed, really pissed.

  6. #6
    Member Array PO54yo's Avatar
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    They are getting better. When I was there in the '70s they'd give you 10 mins to clear out before they would start shooting. This was when Turkey was under martial Law.
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    Is the police force a national force or local? Does the Turkish President direct it?

    I'm sure the beer ban and/or destruction of their park was the last straw in the increasingly repressive laws the Turks are living under. Usually that's what starts a revolution, not the big things.

    Very interesting. I'll have to pay more attention to what's going on in Turkey nowdays. Not much press about this unless you go looking for it specifically.
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  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array phreddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Maybe I've missed something. Turkey is by design a non religious government and far less tyrannical than most countries in that region. .
    While the government is less tyrannical than other in the Mid-east, Erdogan has been moving the country away from its somewhat moderate and non-religious history (1900's- present). In the past the military has taken over and restored order when the government got too religious. Erdogan has been able to keep the military at bay so far.
    Last edited by phreddy; June 3rd, 2013 at 05:17 PM.

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array kapnketel's Avatar
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    Erdogan (PM) wants to be the next big thing in the Islamic world, he is the Turkish version of the Muslim Brotherhood and wants to impose sharia on his country. Sure, he was democratically elected, but he once said of democracy "it is like a bus, when I get to my stop I get off". Democracy is a tool he wants to use to eliminate democracy. He is part of the mindset "one vote, one man, one time". Do not be lulled into the belief that he is OK with a secularist Turkey. This is not about a park. He wants to build a mosque there, another chip in the wall of a secularist Turkey.
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