"After a night of violence, traffic returned to Istanbul's Taksim Square early Wednesday, with taxis, trucks and pedestrians returning to the streets. A heavy police presence stood off to the side, near a new barricade erected before dawn to prevent riot police from firing tear gas into the square's still occupied Gezi Park. Hundreds of protesters remained in the park, clearing up after a night of trying to fend off tear gas, followed by an early morning storm that blew down tents and soaked bedding and blankets. At the park's entrance on Taksim Square, a massive barricade of wrecked cars and construction material stood as rudimentary protection from the police. Throughout Tuesday, riot police firing water cannon and tear gas clashed repeatedly with pockets of protesters throwing stones and setting off fireworks in pitched battles. The unrest didn't simmer down until just before dawn. Erdogan has insisted the protests and occupations, which he says are hurting Turkey's image and economy, must end immediately." USAtoday
I think that Erdogan has greatly over-estimated the strength of his own position and is in big trouble. Richard Engle and various knowledgeable people tried over the last few days to explain Turkey to a public that wants to think that all Middle Eastern countries are the same and that revolution against an elected government is necessarily a bad thing. It was clear from the responses of the 24/7 news crowd that this message was completely beyond the level of their education.
Erdogan has been elected several times, but he was elected because the many rural villages full of peasants all over Anatolia will always vote for him. Many of the people in those villages never accepted Ataturk's westernization of Turkey and his attempt to createe a secular society in which European mores would prevail.
Erdogan for all his smooth talk and business suits is intent in re-creating an Islamist Turkey. the westernized element in the country knows exactly what Erdogan is aboiut. If you don't think he is like that, look at his wife. She represents what he really wants.
A great upheaval is coming in Turkey. Erdogan intends to continue to decimate the Turkish military officer corps and make the armed forces into advocates of Islamism. He intends to suppress women's rights, and to convert the Turkish Constitution into an instrument of Islamization.
This is the man that Obama and Kerry want for an ally? pl