Not the deep state but the streets pushing Erdoğan to change

Lale Kemal writes: A majority of Turks are now conscious of the fact that the mass protests that took place in this country in the past were masterminded by deep state elements so that they could hold on to their power at the expense of the elected governments.

Between 1960 and 2007, Turks witnessed bloody clashes that took place among leftist and rightist university students and massive demonstrations protesting against the governments in the periods prior to the three military coups as well as the three memorandums issued by the Turkish military that twice resulted in the fall of the government. The 29-year-old Kurdish uprising is a product of the bloody 1980 military coup, with the junta dealing a serious blow to democratic rights, which also deeply affected Kurds when they were banned from speaking their mother tongue even among themselves.

The current nationwide anti-government protests, however, are largely a product of people who are genuine in their demands in broader terms.

A peaceful, small-scale sit-in protest that started nine days ago in İstanbul’s Taksim Square against the demolition of the Gezi public park quickly turned into anti-government protests, reflecting people’s discontent. It escalated into some of the worst scenes of public disorder and police violence coupled with violence triggered by extreme groups seen in Turkey in recent years.

Today’s demonstrations are different from the previous deep-state organized ones since, among other things, they have brought together people from every segment of society. We understand this from the slogans being chanted by the demonstrators as well as the solidarity being displayed by the protesting crowds reflecting different ideologies that vary from moderate secularists and environmentalists to conservatives as well as gays and lesbians.

The driving force that united the protesters appears to be their anger against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s increased authoritarian behavior, treating the people as his subjects with arrogance and overconfidence. [Continue reading…]

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