The situation in Turkey today could be much less polarized, without such strong anger and distrust of the police, if a key lesson learned in the South Caucasus had been applied in Taksim Square: governments should engage non-violent protestors and allow demonstrations to fizzle out gradually.
While much of the attention in the wake of the crackdown on the Gezi Park protests in Turkey has focused on its impact on domestic politics, experts are warning that recent events could have a deleterious effect on the country’s foreign policy.
With anti-government protests in Turkey showing no signs of subsiding, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is doubling down on tough talk. In addition to vowing to punish his domestic critics, the Turkish prime minister is picking a fight with the European Union.
In using strong-armed tactics against his critics in Istanbul, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has counted on the support of his political base, which is centered in Turkey’s Anatolia region. A visit to two strongholds of Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) suggest that while his backing in the conservative Turkish heartland is still strong, it’s potentially brittle.
Nearly two weeks after a protest to defend a downtown Istanbul park mushroomed into a near-national movement, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opted June 11 for a power play against his critics. But the protest movement isn’t showing signs of crumbling.
The mass protests that have swept Turkey in recent days seem to have a quicksand quality for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: the more he moves to quash dissenting views, the more entangled he appears to be getting.