‘We need to provide the Occupy Gezi protestors with practical solidarity, Green Party members and all those concerned with human rights and environmental protection, should support Turkey’s protest movement.’
‘It is important to listen to the voices of the protesters especially in the form of social media such as blogs and twitter’
The Turkish Green Party is active in the Gezi movement, “This is an uprising, a protest against the increasing bans,” said Michelle Demishevich, an activist and member of Turkey’s Green Party. “Perhaps just like we saw the Arab Spring, this will be the Turkish Spring”.
Dr Wall continued, ‘Sadly the death toll is mounting in Turkey and international pressure is needed to prevent more peaceful protesters from being killed.’
Footnote from Andy Chyba:
Having returned from Turkey yesterday morning, I can confirm that news was slow to emerge in the provinces and that there is growing disquiet amongst ordinary citizens about the growing repression being imposed by the right-wing ‘Justice and Development Party’ (AKP) government.
Fears, following the 2011 general election, that Premier Ergogan wants to ‘Putinise’ the country are beginning to gain strength.”Erdogan wants to implement a presidential system,” Gencer Ozcan, professor for international relations at Bilgi University told the Guardian in 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/13/recep-erdogan-turkey-general-election. “This is the main goal of a new constitution. This is the first time that the prime minister handpicked all AKP candidates, assuring absolute loyalty within his own party.”
But the election result requires wider parliamentary consensus on a new constitution.This comes as good news to government critics who, concerned about Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian stance in an effort to remain in charge beyond 2015. The current constitution would be bar Erdogan from serving as prime minister again. (An issue we have been grappling with on an insignificant scale – in comparison – within Wales Green Party.)
I have left Turkey truly impressed with their willingness of ordinary people to work hard and go the extra mile in terms of customer service. Since my first visit to the country more than 30 years ago, they have taken huge strides in terms of their standards of living and education system, and they now boast a health service that truly shames and embarrasses the NHS. They have also embraced environmental issues in a way that also shames the UK.
Erdogan and the AKP can certainly take a lot of credit for this – they have been in power since 2002 afterall – but there is no comparison any more to the Erdogan that won elections in 2002 and 2005. His plans are seen are increasingly over-ambitious and fuelled by a bulging ego. Most ordinary Turks that I have spoken to simply want to consolidate what they have got and live in peace.
The events of the last few days represent worrying times indeed.
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