A Commentary by Ismail Doğa Karatepe and Özgür Genç
A crackdown on environmentalists in Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul sparked protests across Turkey on the 31st of May. Since then, Turkey has been experiencing mass demonstrations covering almost the entire country. An occupy-style movement against the demolition of this relatively small park was suppressed on that day which included the arresting and injuring the hundreds. It is evident that neither police chiefs nor the governor of Istanbul could have expected that the police raid would attract the attention of and mobilize hundreds of thousands of protesters across the country. This protest already became a large scale rebellion on the night of May 31, however, apparently, not only against demolition of the park but also against, as a graffiti puts it, “something” (“Kahrolsun Bağzı Seyler!”/”Damn with somethings!” as in the picture on the right corner). It is not easy to meld the demands of the protesters in the same pot; however the government encroachment on freedom thus far appears to be common concern.