, writing for The Arabist
, provides some in-depth analysis:
"...The language of the protests, specifically, those with Internet access, has been that of the global Occupy movement, which according to the Turkish social media researcher Zeynep Tufekci marks a departure from past protests. She notes that protests in this vein are uncommon in Turkey, where most such marches are usually organized by unions and parties...
...Though in the vein of Occupy and Freedom Square, this coordinated but decentralized “Occupy” movement in Istanbul began as a protest against municipal redevelopment and has now turned into a larger one against the AKP - specifically, PM Erdogan and Mayor Topbas, who sees himself as a visionary urban planner...
...Redeveloping Gezi Park is like asking New Yorkers and Londoners to let their respective rezone Central Park and Hyde Park for commercial use, as one protest sign read. The 2012 Turkish documentary “Ekümenopolis: City Without Limits” assesses how Istanbul and the communities around have been reshaped as a metropolis with a burgeoning service economy, increasingly inadequate public services, and the “shopping mall mania.”"
Speaking as De Marquis
, I am getting the sense that this protest may be more about the privatization of public spaces and services than about anything else, which, if true, seems to imply that Turkey has reached a point in it's political development that such issues have risen to the forefront. If it really does have more in common with the Occupy Movement that it does with the Arab Spring, that makes it seem that this protest isn't about oppression
so much as social equity and justice.
Or anyway that may be how it all started. Now it's about heavy-handed police tactics and the regime's unwillingness to compromise.
"...the protests are now more about the conduct of the state itself, despite the fact that unlike Mubarak or Ben Ali, Erdogan was democratically elected and his party is representative of many devout, middle class voters. The park’s questionable redevelopment is now less as a symbol of AKP brusqueness, it has been superseded by photos of men and women beaten down by water cannons and riot officers..."
Much like the Occupy Movement in the United States. I guess I am somewhat surprised by the Western
flavor of these protests, and the fact that they are happening in Turkey.
“There’s room for all of us here... But there’s no middle ground between ‘We belong here’ and ‘No you don’t.’