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The Protests in Turkey: Letting off Steam or Engine of Change? 9 juin 2013

Posted by Acturca in Turkey / Turquie.
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INSS Insight (Institute for National Securities Studies) No. 434, June 9, 2013

Gallia Lindenstrauss *, Orit Perlov and Timur Saitov

The protests that started at Taksim Square in Istanbul and have spread to other locations throughout Turkey are among the most interesting developments to have occurred in the country since the Justice and Development Party first came to power over a decade ago. While it is still difficult to envision a scenario in which these protests might topple Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, they could hamper his efforts to achieve constitutional reform before the direct presidential election in 2014, in which he plans to run. In fact, parts of Turkey’s population are worried about a strongman president, a la Russia’s Vladimir Putin, which is one of the underlying factors causing the protests. Pamphlets distributed during the demonstrations read: “This is not about a park. It’s about not being heard. It’s about the abuse of state power. It’s about media being censored. It’s about minorities not being protected. This is about democracy.”

* Dr. Gallia Lindenstrauss is a research associate at INSS.

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