What next for Turkey’s “Occupy Gezi” protesters?
Istanbul’s Taksim Square is calm after weeks of anti-government protests.
The demonstrations continue, sporadically, but it appears that the protesters are asking themselves: what is the next step?
Time will tell. For the moment here are two articles where I attempt to delve into some of the impact the protests might have.
Despite smothering government pressure, critics of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are finding new ways to make their voices heard.
Many say their goal now is to channel the energy of the Occupy Gezi protests into a wider opposition movement, with an aim of mounting opposition to Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in local elections in 2014 and parliamentary elections in 2015, but without joining arms with any existing political force. Or resorting to violence.
This second article is centered largely on Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is the focus of the protesters’ anger.
In response, it appears that Erdogan has chosen an inward-looking policy, as local and presidential elections approach next year.
While at the start of the demonstrations, various AKP officials appeared willing to compromise with the protesters, they have now closed ranks around Erdogan.
If there is internal debate within the AKP about the divisive response to the protests, it is only happening on a personal basis.
“His party members are not in a state of debating anything now. They are on a war footing,” Candar said.