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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The "spark" Turkish explodes against Erdogan's authoritarian drift

"Nobody believes that this has exploded because it will cut down 20 trees." The protests of recent days in Turkey have spun head back to thousands of people around the world to the geo-strategic nexus with Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere in the balance. What's going on? For starters, while Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan , he took a flight Monday to Morocco, cities like Ankara would wake up full of barricades. The origin of these sudden demonstrations lies in Istanbul last week with a small camping to save Gezi Park, threatened by the construction of a shopping center. This cause, a priori minority, has been the "spark" that has blown rage "underground" of various Turkish groups, Javier Albarracin Socioeconomic Development Director European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed). Again a square, this time that of Taksim, has become a symbol of social discontent . So far there have been more than 1,500 arrests, scores of people were injured and at least one person has died during clashes with police in several cities, including Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, Adana, Eskisehir, Samsun, Antakya and Tunceli. A rallying cry calling for the resignation of the government and trade unions have announced strikes.

Is this a 'spring' Turkish?

Although it might be a quick interpretation, what is happening "has nothing to do" with what happened in 2011 in countries like Egypt , clarifies Albarracin. People protest in the streets today "does not against the system," he adds, but against the authoritarian drift that is taking the Executive Erdogan, but "with the proviso" that this regime is completely removed from what, by example, Ben Ali or Hosni Mubarak implanted in Tunisia and Egypt.  Nor is it an economic issue, the subject of constant protests social now in EuropeThe IMF predicts that Turkey, a country considered emerging and attractive to investment funds grow 3.4% this year and 3.7% in 2014 (real GDP), a little over two weeks, the country paid the last installment of its debt to the Fund, $ 426 million. Albarracin explains that social development is inclusive and "no distribution of wealth." protests addressed, therefore, is Erdogan. The prime minister, who has been in power since 2003 , has "an agenda very clear" to crown his third term: next year's elections, but as it can not be repeated in the post has in mind to opt for the presidency after a constitutional reform ad hocand stay ahead of the country until 2023. It explains Albarracin, "great charisma", plenty of power and is acting "very on your own".

What is criticized Erdogan?

The Party of Justice and Development (AKP) of Erdogan won in the 2002 elections 34% of the vote, but in 2007 achieved almost 47% and in 2011 50% . He was elected with strong support, however its moderate Islam, held even by European leaders at first, it has been deflated to return the more suspicious fears about the radicalization of the country. "Turkey is, along with China and Iran, one of the world's countries worst jailer of journalists , "says Albarracin, which adds to the list of key factors in understanding the protests changes in the educational system or alcohol restrictions. Among other things, it has recently banned the sale of alcohol within 100 meters of mosques and schools and want to convert the Ayran, a yogurt base, "national drink" Raki above, a sort of anise. More things to young people - many of the protesters are students - and secular accuses the prime minister: his plans to build a huge mosque in Istanbul and other works of a Pharaonic, his opposition to the abortion, that considers social networks -used again to show pictures and give information about the protests - a "threat", you want to perpetuate in power, his " megalomania ", etc.. "Like has been removed from political influence "to the military, judiciary and public administration, says Albarracin, found leeway to act, it has been" released "he says. Among the protesters are nationalists and Islamists also unhappy with the ruling. Finally, the excesses of the police , an old problem that "is not changed in the overnight", but in the last few hours has acquired for some international viewers character "amazing" by the strength against the protests, according Albarracin, including tear gas and rubber bullets. Democracy is not just about elections, we got the message" has come to mean the country's president, Abdullah Gul, to calm down. It is somewhat paradoxical that in September 2011 the very Erdogan told Arab leaders in whose countries had happened citizen revolts that governments " must obtain their legitimacy from the will of the people ". He then criticized the repression of the demonstrations and reminded them, in a speech in Cairo, that "a leader who kills his people has lost its legitimacy."

What consequences will the riots?

"This will not end with the fall of Erdogan" says Albarracin, which gives the Prime Minister a capacity and an "incredible political waist" and feel confident to rectify if that helps end point discontent. It will not therefore he says that his job is in danger like that look resentful "his image and charisma" ahead of elections next year. Erdogan added Socioeconomic Development Director IEMed, usually "guided , I know, for his political instinct " and steadily groping even the opinion of citizens about you with surveys. If you receive care now touches Europe or United Nations agencies such as "just have to listen", even if it is only a reaction motivated by the consequences "media." In Europe, there is nothing that can suffer , because the relations between Turkey and Europe are "frozen". The old continent is more concerned about "saving the furniture" and country economies to resume relations with the Turks, the formal accession talks began in 2005 - "no incentive" to speak with Turkey, nor any, Albarracin explains, in the other direction, as the good economic situation does not advise Turkish negotiate now with the ailing European situation. How about the 2020 Olympics? That if it could harm Turkey "says Albarracin, which nevertheless notes that the country has" capacity to mobilize political and financial support "and that if at any time Istanbul had to be chosen for it" is now ". It would be the first Islamic country to organize some games and it would launch an important message. But if the current situation "be extended" in time, could derail Turkey's aspirations.


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