Will Takseem Square become Tahreer Square?

on Sunday, July 14, 2013

The world has witnessed a new wave of unrest but this time it’s not Tahreer square but it is Takseem square in Turkey. It is important to know what were the reasons behind the protests in Istanbul. It was reported that the government had a big plan (a development project) in the city. For this project, they had to cut down more than 600 trees, this became a big concern for people living in the city. To stop government from this act a small pool of activists gathered in Takseem square to protest against demolition of the historical city, Istanbul. The police used harsh method to control the protesters including water cannons and tear gas. This act by the police backfired and this led to riots that spread nationwide all of a sudden. The activists were joined by the opposition leadership which fueled the protest. They called Turk Prime Minister Tayyib Erdogan to step down from his post.

The Islamist party is in power; hence, the secular minded people think that they will implement the basic Islamic agenda in the country. They think that Turkey doesn’t enjoy the image that the Islamist want to portray to the world. They said that the Western countries regard Turkey as their main ally while following such agenda will be critical for Turkey to join the European Union. Now, we will discuss the reason why these demonstrations happened in details.

The Mega Project

First of all, a big project started by the government which included the construction of shopping malls, a mosque and construction of Ottoman military barrack. The place is at the heart of the city, and it is among the few full of greenery places. When the crew came to cut down the tree, it touched the people who believed in environmental preservation. They gathered in Takseem square to stop workers from cutting down the trees. The situation got violent when the police used a hard method. More fuel was added when some opposition parties joined the protest. The opposition parties were able to gather a lot of people to protest.

Who are the protesters?

This protest attracted different groups of people to join the force. It is very dangerous to admit that it has become a rift between the Islamist and the secularism. It is believed that secular camp has cavernous objection against the Islamist as the Islamist are in power for more than a decade now and they are getting more authority and power. The moderate Muslim youth and student following secularism came out of home to support the opposition as they believe that the Islamists are going to add more Islamic values to the system.

Why people are frustrated from Erdogan?

Erdogan is re-elected as the Prime Minister in 2011. Some analysts say that Erdogan is using his authority in a wrong way as they give the example of the PM putting in jail many Journalists who were his critics. Moreover, there are some social policies that people reject. The new policy implemented by the PM that no one is allowed to sell alcohol in the country after 10 at night. Moreover, he gave orders to change the attire of the Turkish Airline female attendants. The secular minded people don’t like these changes as they feel that the country is going to adopt an Islamic system that liberal and moderate people don’t accept.

Will it become simillar Arab spring?

The images by the media suggest that Takseem square is going to be a new Tahrir square. The PM  asked people to go home and said there will be no “Tahrir Square” in Turkey.

On the other side, thousands of people are protesting against the new social policies implement by the government. The Islamist and follower of AKP party came out in numbers and outnumbered the protesters. They stood solid with their leadership and supported their social policies.

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