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Turkey Protests – recommended reading in English

    In the space of barely a week Istanbul’s Gezi Park has probably become more famous than its great tourist attractions, the Blue Mosque and  Grand Bazaar.  Romantic visions of  the  Bosphorous  glittering beneath a skyline of  magnificent domes dating back to Ottoman times have temporarily been replaced by images of tear gas and bloodied protesters, flashed across the world at lightning speed.  Having examined a few of the reports in the English language media that are way off kilter, I feel compelled to share a few good links for those who don’t know Turkish and want to get a good account of what is going on and why. As the situation stands today, the occupy Gezi Park action in Istanbul has turned into a popular front movement reaching over 60 of Turkey’s 81 provinces and which includes  many sectors of society not just “middle class secular Turks” as much of the non Turkish media seems to be claiming. The protesters have brought together people from Turkey’s many different ethnic  and belief  groups –  religious people who have previously voted for the ruling party, Gay rights activists,  Nationalists, Revolutionary Socialists, Trade Unionists and perhaps most surprisingly of all supporters of the far right ultra nationalist Grey Wolves and members of the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party ( BDP). That’s all I wanted to say – see below for some good articles by Professor Pelin Tan

    and writer Elif Şafak

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