TAKSIM SQUARE – Turkey on fire with protests against Islamic authoritarian government

Protests erupted in Turkey on Thursday of last week at Taksim Square in Instanbul. The government wants to tear down this ‘green’ park and build a shopping mall and a mosque in its place. But the Turkish people wanted their trees enough to stage a sit-in to protest the move.

But now the protests have become way more than just about a park; they’ve become about grievances with the Islamic authoritarian government in Turkey and they’ve spread to other cities like Ankara and Izmir. A friend of mine from Turkey tells me the protests are mainly secular demonstrations against the government but adds that other more violent groups with their own grievances have gotten involved to try and take advantage of the situation.

He also says that the local media in Turkey aren’t reporting on these protests. Of course that’s no surprise as the Islamic government has tried hard to get the media under its thumb in Turkey by jailing journalists that are critical of the government.

Here are a series of short videos from Euronews that document how these protests have changed from a sit-in about a few trees in Taksim Square to a national movement:








They Daily Mail also has a ton of great photos from the protests as well.

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  • ryanomaniac

    The entire landscape of the Middle East has changed in a matter of five years or less. Its astounding the speed of the transition there. Who could’ve guessed that the Arab Spring would have spread with such velocity. Times are changing.

    • The Sentinel

      Ever since Obama came into power… interesting.

  • Conniption Fitz

    One news article says this is a battle between rising peasant class vs the old elite ruling class.   Is the ‘peasant class’ the same sort of protester that began the oustings/conflicts with Ghaddafi, Mubarak and Assad?   Is this a Sunni vs Shiite war?

    • Watchman74

      I don’t know all the dynamics going on but this seems to be different from the Arab springs which toppled Arab nationalists and replaced them with Islamic regimes. Turkey had been secular until Erdogan came along and has moved it back to it’s Islamic roots. This seems to be about secular vs Islamic.

  • njmom

    Looks like Obama’s buddy is in trouble with the Turks. Wonder if Barack will call and console him?????

    • Orangeone

      njmom Maybe Barky can personally visit and take McCain, Graham, oh heck the entire Gang of 8 along with Pelosi, Durbin and the other progs.

      Feinstein can talk to them about gun control :}

      • Conniption Fitz

        And PRESSURE COOKER control!

    • The Sentinel

      Probably… or he’ll give him one of our aircraft carrier battle groups and several squadrons of F-22’s and/or F-35s. (Grrrrrr)

      • Orangeone

        The Sentinel  njmom And put our men and women on the ground there

        • The Sentinel

          Orangeone The Sentinel  njmom 
          Aw dang… you’re stirring the pudding now!
          Wouldn’t put it past anyone in this regime.

        • Orangeone

          The Sentinel  Orangeone njmom Sorry my friend. You know he hates our military and the military leaders give me no confidence after Benghazi. But we both know that he’ll get called out like he has been on Syria.

  • Watchman74

    Never did like Erdogan. This is one “spring” I wouldn’t mind supporting.

    • The Sentinel

      Agreed. I don’t think Erdogan is necessarily looking out for Turkey’s best interests. He seems to have bigger plans.

    • PAWatcher

      Watchman74 obama won’t support what We perceive as the  right side of this conflict, he didn’t support the right side in Iran when they had uprisings. He is on the wrong side again.

  • BearNJ

    At least this is an Arab Spring in the right direction.

    • Conniption Fitz

      Don’t count on it.   Islam never produces anything but dictatorships, pretend potentates and bloodshed.

      • PNWShan

        Conniption Fitz But is it Islam producing it? It seems that the people protesting are the secularists against the Islamist government.  (with stress on the word ‘seems’)

  • deTocqueville1

    Well, apparently some folks in Turkey are starting to appreciate the full implications of Erdogan’s Premiership. He as been undermining and dismantling the institutions of democratic secularism which Kemal Ataturk so painstakingly built after WW1.  It is symbolic that Erdogan wants to demolish a public square and the Ataturk Cultural center to build a mosque.
    This protest will proably fail and the Government will extend and consolidate its Islamist totalitarian controls over all facets of society alas.

  • PNWShan

    My prediction: if Obama gets involved, it will be to support Erdogan. In fact, Obama wrote an article praising Erdogan for the Sabah newspaper, which used to be n opposition paper until Erdogan’s son-in-law was given control of it. Obama said he asked Erdogan’s advice on raising his daughters!  Even without Erdogan’s friendship, Obama always supports the more Islamist and/or Muslim Brotherhood-connected party when it comes to factions in the Muslim world.

  • Lee0521

    Having travelled to Turkey many times, I can attest that the Turks are securalists. Taksim Square is as nice and modern as any street in Western Europe. Bars, restaurants, movie theatres, shops and a tram that runs down the entire street. There are a few places in Istanbul where the religious frequent, but they are not the majority. Young Turks want to be Westernized. Ataturk’s picture hangs in banks, hotels, shops. He is idolized. I loved Turkey and had not distaste for it’s people. I sincerely hope that she does not go the way of Egypt.

    • PNWShan

      Lee0521 Until just a few years ago, my father and stepmother traveled to Turkey often – for the sailing. Their observations match yours.

    • istanbullu

      Lee0521 As a local from Istanbul, I appreciate your comment. A foreigner saying what you have said means way more than we, Turks talking about our country. And NO! There is no way Turkey goes the way of Egypt because we are not Middle Eastern Islamic country. Thanks to Ataturk.

  • DocBarry1

    Someone needs to ask Obama and his administration how they support this regime – when the people are rising up against them?   How is this different from the early stages in Egypt, Libya, Syria etc.
    Let’s here Obama talk is way out of this one

  • Conniption Fitz

    Who knows what is going on in Turkey.  Some say it’s the new rising peasant class fighting against the Old guard elites.  Others say it’s moderates rising up against strict theocratic Islamists. 
    It’s hard to tell who is who amongst the various brands and persuasions of Mohammedanism.  But when they aren’t hating the US and of course, Israel, they are fighting each other.
    The huge wholesale ugly blood-letting Syria (100,000 dead so far) is a Sunni vs Shiite war.   The Sunnis, Wahhabi, AlQueda (Syrian rebels*) are Arabs from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. 
    The Shiites/Hezbollah are a minority in Pakistan and Turkey. 
    There is a bombing a day between Sunni and Shiites in Pakistan.  Iraq rivals Pakistan in the number of bombings and miscellaneous slaughters.  Here are 30 days of deadly jihad attacks (not counting wars and honor killings) http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks

    • Conniption Fitz

      More:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shia%E2%80%93Sunni_relations
      There is no untangling or reasoning about Islam.  It just is what it is – a deadly, aggressive racist hate group that breeds bloodshed, injustice, misogyny, cruelty and conflict wherever it goes.
      We should just say, like Forrest Gump, “ISLAM IS AS ISLAM DOES.”

    • lawngreen

      Conniption Fitz   That 2nd link especially is valuable. Thanks, Fitz.

  • lawngreen

    First, I have to say as several times before, thanks for posting these videos, Scoop. This link will be going to my contacts in a few minutes.
    The narrator of the 2nd video claimed that “Washington said” that “it seemed that the demonstrators were exercising normal democratic freedoms and warned Turkey to uphold them.” Wow. Really?Then how is it that Tea Party protests have drawn criticism as the product of racists and terrorists?

    Notice in one of the other videos that erdogan is quoted as blaming the opposition political party for provoking the demonstrations. Much like the obama regime labelling returning vets and Tea Partyers and Pro-Lifers terrorists, I guess. So the opposition in Turkey is now on notice that if demonstrations continue, the opposition party leaders may be arrested and who knows what. I’d say this is why the GOPe is so eager to be friendly to the obama regime and unfriendly to the Right. I guess they’re smarter than I thought. More cowardly, but smarter.
    Now I have a couple of ***purely hypothetical***PURELY HYPOTHETICAL*** observations and questions. If you take everything seriously, skip the following. It’s just idle speculation.

    Observation: if you stomp on people’s dreams hard enough, you get demonstrations. If you respond with moderate force (tear gas and water cannons) you don’t sufficiently intimidate and you get an escalation in violence.
    Observation: governments can be toppled by movements that begin in demonstrations, but if the government is willing to use deadly force and torture, the cost will be high. I suspect that we’ll be hearing reports of such from Turkey in coming days.

    Question: is the Right ***willing*** – ***and able*** – to do what we see above to save America? This is where youth counts, a lot. Middle age might be able to do this sort of thing briefly, old age only once. An old man or woman getting a baton beating is not going to be functional for a long time after. They might not survive it. A night or more in jail can be a nightmare. In American jails, there is no limit to what might be done to a person.

    Observation: if you are a repressive regime and you are facing a heavily armed population, things could get out of hand. Especially if a significant percentage of police and military are not chanting in unison with your vision. You might find yourself living inside body armor, or ruling in absentia due to the extremely high threat level. If, of course, the population is willing to die for what they believe. It comes down to that: not what people are willing to fight for, but what they are willing to die for. Because tyrants (I’m speaking of erdogan, of course, and besides this is all mere theorizing) don’t care who or how many die, as long as it’s not themselves.

    Another highly speculative but interesting and very important question: what if a significant percentage of the population has shown support for a repressive regime? Will that support, say, in votes and demonstrations, translate into assistance if the unrest reaches the point of actual bloodshed? Sure, these persons might cheer the regime on, but are THEY willing to die for what they believe? Budding tyrants would be well advised to find this out before committing themselves.

    Of course no civilized person wants such turmoil and bloodshed. But if the ruling party is a savage, primitive, remorseless, barbaric regime, they pretty much force the civilized elements to become uncivilized too, and hope they can 1) win and 2) regain their civilized selves when the struggle is over.
    I seem to remember that I’ve heard islam called barbaric once or twice. I seem to remember that several years ago I heard obama refer to “my muslim faith”.  I seem to remember that I heard obama say, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of allah” or something to that effect. I seem to remember that I recently heard obama say, “I’m not the fearless young marxist muslim I once was” or words very similar to that.
    Civilization – especially and best of all Western Civilization – is a wonderful thing. But there have been times in history when civilized people have had to become uncivilized to deal with uncivilized threats.
    Oh well, enough of such idle speculation. Back to reality.

    • famouswolf

      These are questions that run through my mind like a constant drum beat these days. I fear that they have more reality to them than speculation. I also fear the answers, and would like to get on with finding out.

      • lawngreen

        famouswolf  When in unfamiliar territory, one moves cautiously. Forward, yes, but one watches for mines and tripwires. Haste in unknown territory maketh not waste but a loud noise and a big hole in the ground and body parts strewn around.

        • famouswolf

          LOL Yep, or a ship with multiple compartments ripped open, going down into Davy Jones’ locker. The suspense is building, and getting very hard to take, nevertheless.

        • lawngreen

          famouswolf  When tension builds, if your prayer closet (Matthew 6:6, KJV) is sufficiently soundproofed, go into it, shut the door, and scream several times, loudly and viscerally. Primal Scream Therapy. Sometimes it helps.
          Prayer also helps, all the time, even when apparently unanswered.

  • Matt2Matt

    The religion of peace again?  I’ll be darned…

  • Laurel A

    Get ready for a huge crackdown. Also be aware when the dust settles Erdogan will very quietly start jailing people. That is his MO.

  • DHardy

    Where ever you have Islam you have tranny and despair and death and war and evil and crimes against humanity…

    • PoCoTex

      DHardy  Precisely. Tyranny and despair and death and war and crimes against humanity are exactly what happened to my Christian grandmother’s four siblings when they had their heads removed from their shoulders by Muslim Turkish soldiers.

  • stinkprogress

    Something tells me Mr Obmama and the State department will NOT be on the side of the PEOPLE on this one…….

  • OldHippyPatriot

    So Sad for these people….meanwhile
    Turkey Stakes Claim in America
    With $100 Million Mega-Mosque

  • Orangeone

    This is laughable, Obama Admin calls on the parties to “calm down” citing “democracy” without specifically saying it, our First Amendment rights :} http://bigstory.ap.org/article/us-asks-parties-turkey-calm-situation

  • OldHippyPatriot
  • PAWatcher

    As the US becomes energy independent- it’s coming- Saudi Arabia will have it’s hands full with civil wars throughout the middle east. Hopefully all their money will be spent on wars and collapse of a caliphate will occur. Let Russia, China and EU finance the wars as We restore.
    Stopping ME oil and drugs is the answer to Our dilemma IMHO.

    • tinlizzieowner

      The libs were screaming “Bush went to war with Iraq for the oil”. OK libs where’s the oil? 
      I hate to break this to you but the Chinese are getting it. Now, get the f… out of the way and let US become energy independent, thus breaking the back of the middle east and China. 😉

    • Valin

      “As the US becomes energy independent- it’s coming”
      The Community Organizer in Chief is doing all he can to prevent this.

      • PAWatcher

        Valin PAWatcher 
        Don’t think he will be successful in preventing it much longer. He will have his hands so full with answering to the treasonous acts he’s attached to, and Syria, Turkey and ME unrest is about to explode and the progressives are all for intervention (war- go figure the leftist was of thinking). So, on the home front energy will drive the markets soon IMHO.

        • Valin

          “Don’t think he will be successful in preventing it much longer.”
          Didn’t say he would be sucessful…just that he’s trying

           “He will
          have his hands so full with answering to the treasonous acts he’s
          attached to, and Syria, Turkey and ME unrest is about to explode and the
          progressives are all for intervention (war- go figure the leftist way
          of thinking).” 
          Want to go to war? Gonna need some sources on that. There may be some, but I haven’t seen them.

          “So, on the home front energy will drive the markets soon
          Funny how markets always have their way. 
          If only someone would write a book on the Dead Hand Of The Market.  🙂

  • tinlizzieowner

    There are only 2 forms of government under Islam. An autocratic Islamic dictatorship (Turkey), or a theocratic Islamic dictatorship (Iran). Either way Islam IS the state. the only difference between the 2 is that sometimes, we can bribe the autocratic Islamists. 😉

    • Valin

      It would appear that there are Turks who would disagree with you.

      • tinlizzieowner

        Valin tinlizzieowner  
        There are people all over the world who disagree with me, your point is???
        Was Turkey once the head of the Ottoman (Muslim) Empire? Yes.
        Is the national religion of Turkey Islam? Yes. Therefore, Turkey is an ‘Islamic State’. Sunni, Shia not withstanding, it is what it is.

        The newly ‘elected’ President of Turkey is trying to to make the country more ‘theocratic’ (Shia). The young who have raised, (especially in the northwest, as K-Bob explained above) don’t want to have anything to do with it (Sunni). They will ‘fight for their right to party’. This is a threat to ‘theocratic Islamists’ who have been making big strides all over the Middle East recently, in spite of what ‘Barry’ would like you to believe.

        • istanbullu

          tinlizzieowner Valin No sir. Turkey has no official religion as a basic rule of a secular state. First amendment of our constitution is that Turkey is a secular democratic republic. So NO. Religion of Turkey is not Islam. About the Ottoman Empire…The Ottoman Empire died 100 years ago. Can you say that Italy was the head of Roman Empire therefore the Italian State is a Christian or a Pagan state ? No . The Italian State is a secular state just like the Turkish state. Please think before you write.

        • tinlizzieowner

          istanbullu tinlizzieowner Valin  
          Thank you for the information. I will stand corrected. Welcome to Right Scoop.

  • K-Bob

    Folks should take a look at a map of Turkey.  The western side of Turkey, especially along the Mediterranean coast, was long a tourist hot-spot, and had a very western feel.  You can find lots of photos from old glossy magazines online showcasing some of the excellent restaurants, hotels, and beaches.  Western style bikinis were prevalent.  It’s gorgeous scenery.  Turks from that area who live in the US are generally wonderful people.  And the food they make here is incredible.  I’d love to visit that part of the world before it dies forever.

    But east of there, and in the south, everything changes.  Kurds are the main population in the South, and they were somewhat US friendly during the 2003 thru 2006 years of Bush, going so far as to build some very western-style communities in Kurdish Iraq. But the east is territory the Mu-Bros covet.  You can bet al Qaeda is working that location hard, and barack is doing his best to fumble the ball toward them.
    barack has given al Qaeda their best gains ever.  He lost Egypt, GAVE them Libya and an American Ambassador’s life, he’s losing Syria, which gives them Lebanon for free, and will do his d*mndest to make sure Turkey falls totally into their hands. Least. American. President. Ever.

  • PapaLouie

    Didn’t Erdogan just visit the White House? The Obama jinx is still alive and well.

  • istanbullu

    Dear friends,
    I am a Turkish person from Istanbul. Turkey is a secular, democratic western country. Our Western friends should accept that because we do not want Turkey to be in the same league with barbaric Islamic countries. I bet, you don’t want this to happen as well. As seen in the last couple of days, Turkish people fight for their democracy and the secular state. Turkey has never been an Islamic country. It will never be as long as we are alive. I know we have flaws in our democracy but remember Islam is a type of cancer that uses your democracy, sneaks in and then take over. But we do not let this to happen in our country. I still don’t understand how people can compare Turkey with Iran. You people should support the European face of Turkey and let it integrate with the West instead of barbaric uncivilized east.

    • RReaganRepublic

      istanbullu I am very glad to hear that. It is rare to hear truth from anyone in the Middle East and Asia Minor region of the world, particularly from Turkey.

      • istanbullu

        RReaganRepublic istanbullu A Turkish person saying she is Muslim is like Britney Spears saying she is Christian. Religion is not in daily life of people and Islam is almost not practiced at all in Turkey. I guess it is more of a tradition to say that they are Muslim but in reality they are not different than an atheist person. This is how most of the Turkish people think. Don’t think I am rare. I and most of the Turkish people consider themselves as Europeans and Islam is not welcomed in Europe from Ireland to Turkey, from Finland to Spain. Trust me RReaganRepublic, if you go to Turkey for vacation or something one day, you would not feel like you are in Middle East. You would see some middle eastern resemblances in the ancient part of Istanbul but nothing more. I recommend you to check Bebek, Beyoglu, Levent etc. 🙂