« "... the Genie is out of the bottle" Kunuri | Main | Russia objects to US policy shift on Syria »

14 June 2013


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Medicine Man

If nothing else perhaps Erdogan sees now that it is not safe for him to try quietly remaking his country in his own image.


Indeed, Furrukh, although judging by this wonderful photo the young won't be alone.


William R. Cumming

General Ali you are a wise man and I respect that wisdom a great deal. Thanks for your post!


A thought-provoking post.

Was it always thus? Or is this a post-modern condition? The youth everywhere experience life differently to their parents' generation and grow up with a desire for change. When they reach the age their parents were, taking the instruments of power, they try and implement that vision only to find that their own children's idea of society has changed. Yet they are still wedded to their own youthful ideals.


I wholeheartedly agree FB Ali, although I am much more optimistic than you are as to what these kind of spontenous movements achieve and how they change the resisters and the resistee. I think its the resisters who change the most for the better, and the gains of resistence movements like Taksim, if not immediate and substantial, are never the less can be game changers eventually.

Charles I

Lets hope, the last decade has dampened my idealism and fortified my cynicism. It does seem the sociopolitical pendulum ever swings, yet with the generational dynamic Martin J notes as we turn into our parents 2.0.

Babak Makkinejad

I think this is a storm in a tea cup and will pass; neither AKP's position nor Erdogan's are in any danger.

Ishmael Zechariah

Colonel Lang, SST;

My colleagues in Istanbul are reporting serious battles with the police. It appears that one crowd control truck from the gendarme is also involved. There are news and twitter blackouts. The resistance is continuing.

Stand by for another interesting week.

I hope Kunuri is OK.



Yes, thank you I am OK. I was on the Asian side all day and night yesterday on a film project, so we all watched it on TVs and live blogs between takes. Last night was incredible, they gassed hotels full of tourists, guests, field hospitals, mothers and children, people taking in refuge etc. Babak Makkinejad declared on above post " I think this is a storm in a tea cup and will pass; neither AKP's position nor Erdogan's are in any danger.", How can anyone be so wrong? So unwilling to read and surf the net just a little before making such grandiose statements and follow up stubbornly and insistently is beyond me. Is it just me?


Live tweeter site for those who may wish to see what is going on in Istanbul second by second.





Direct link to second by second coverage, all relevant links from everywhere.

Thanks for the support of freedom loving people from all around the world.

Babak Makkinejad

In 1968, when the French students had been protesting in Paris and elsewhere in substantial numbers; they were joined by the workers. The workers were ready to take over factories and other sensitive places if word would come from the French Communist Party (or anyone else).

There was no leadership then and there is no leadership now.

AKP has a comfortable majority until the next elections a sitting Prime Minister is not going to be un-seated by his own party over a few chopped tress in an obscure park in Istanbul.

Nor the masses of pious Muslims in heartland of Anatolia are going to support these modern kids.



Wrong analogy, wrong conclusion and the same lack of command of facts in depth.

Sorry, nothing personal, I like your fiction though, you are a talented writer.

Babak Makkinejad

We shall see; let us see if the future course of events would make me eat crow.


Interesting article about the protests in Turkey from religion dispatches:

"If you drive north towards Istanbul's Huqqa lounge you’ll pass Dolmabahce Palace on your right. Inferiority complexes coincide with interminable fiscal crises. Built to proclaim the Ottoman Empire’s European identity, the Palace instead accomplished the Empire’s bankruptcy—leading to its disappearance some decades later. It was buried by the most famous man to die in that palace, Kemal Ataturk.

Then there’s Huqqa, which, I'll argue, imagines a Turkey in which he didn’t happen, or at least one in which the most caustic aspects of his legacy have been erased.

You’ve probably read a lot about the Turkish protests. But they’re not about trees, not about a park, not about a shopping mall, not even about the current Prime Minister and resident bull in the china shop, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but about stories. Who Turks think they are, how far back they trace their history, what they make of Ottomans and Ataturks, and what that means for their future.
... I went ahead and out of my way and talked to as many folks as I could, especially the religious Turks, those for whom Islam mattered and Ataturk’s legacy (had) meant trouble. There’s a bias at work, of course, but I’m admitting to it—and redressing an imbalance in Western media coverage. So, yes, I have little in common with Kemalists, a secularist elite. And, yes, it’s easier for me to get religious Turks to open up to me. But what I found? That speaks to all of Turkey.

There are at least three kinds of religious Turks. Aligned firmly with Erdogan’s AKP, there are big businessmen, dynamic capitalists, those in the pursuit of faith and free enterprise. Then there are the Turkish shopkeepers, who we in America might call ‘Joe the Plumbers’. And finally the kind influenced by Sufism. These are impressions of course, with no hard data behind them, but the differences I encountered speak to the diversity of religious identity.

In the past these very different folks had come together because of the shared experience of Kemalist oppression, but AKP’s very success may have made those alliances less vital. Which might be why Erdogan has chosen to respond so harshly, and with such divisive rhetoric. He knows how to build coalitions. And maybe now he’s hoping to save one. In his favor? There is no safe haven, politically speaking, for such religious Turks. The Kemalists, like our Republicans, are busy imploding.

And the far-right nationalists? As you’ll see—not happening.

It’s AKP or nothing.

Some AKP supporters I spoke to insisted that the Kemalists, with anarchists and the help of outside powers (Russia because of Syria, Israel because of Gaza) were promoting a sustained, organized effort to besmirch Turkey. These various forces, they said, could not stand the idea of a powerful Muslim democracy, and had long waited for this chance to take Turkey down. For a country especially dependent on foreign investment, they argued, it was a brilliant move.

Other AKP supporters took a different tack. ‘Stop crying over spilled milk’. To them, winning elections was a mandate, and you did with that mandate whatever you wanted. The only way out was by winning your own election, which seemed unlikely at the moment. But then, I wondered, would they want to be treated in the same way? Then I read in the Economist of “anti-capitalist Muslims” joining the protesters, a whole class of religious Muslims that, as Mustafa Akyol has reported, disagree with Erdogan. I didn’t get to meet any so described.

But their very presence underlines what I found.

I met lots of religious Turks unhappy with Erdogan.

Many Turks who expressed sympathy for, or were members of, Sufi orders, believed that Erdogan had gone too far, and not just with the protests in the park, but from before then. One academic I spoke to discussed the urgent need for a peaceful resolution of Kurdish grievances. He challenged the state narrative on Armenians and Alevis, a significant and frequently marginalized Shi’a population. He even argued that because some Turks consider alcohol consumption part of “their identity,” the religious “must respect that”.

This 'live and let live' turned out to be more generous than I thought. ..."


The whole thing is an interesting read.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad