Gezi Park and the embattled 'Sultan Erdogan Pasha'

When the mass protests sparked off in Istanbul on June 1st with the Turkish people resisting their Government's decision of demolishing Gezi Park for constructing a mall, my immediate inner response was a feeling of delight.  I swung my fist in the air with words of encouragement mumbling out of my mouth uncontrollably.  I  began actively following this story soon after.  I understand it better now and I feel disappointed.  It wouldn't fascinate me at all if it didn't carry any possibilities of impacting the Syrian war positively.

Frankly, I'm not concerned with Erdogan being an authoritarian at home. All countries enslaved by imperialists are run by corrupt authoritarians representing their unscrupulous masters, Erdogan being one of them. That's not a new story. Neither are the Turks insightful enough to plan a "revolution" in the real sense of the term.   They are much shallower than the Iranians and South Lebanese, more on the lines of the Arabs and Paks.   Until now they have shown no concern for the Syrian war their PM is squarely responsible for.  The Turkish protest can be judged as an anti-Islamic movement with a secular and social foundation.  It isn't about reforms, rather it's for getting back the old permissive system allowing drinking and smooching in public etc. etc.  The participants have been carrying posters  of the secularist fascist, Mostafa Kemal Ataturk.  A pro-Ataturk movement would also mean a pro-20th century Ottoman movement as the Ottomans by the end of 1800s had turned just as secular as Ataturk with more or less identical domestic & foreign policies.  

At present, I don't see Erdogan following the laws of Islam either. He is following his brand of "Islam" based on rigid sectarianism mixed with serving Western/Zionist interests, lack of transparency, corruption, autocracy and complete disappearance of the rule of law concerning himself.  Three days after the Turks began protesting, he yelled at them in a televised speech, quote "they are such liars that they should all be hanged in those trees (Gezi Park)." And a few months ago, this man taunted President Assad saying "there is no bravery in killing your own people" but finds nothing wrong with his own eagerness to hang his people because they demonstrated against him. 

The only reason I support the Turkish people against this man is their victory at home might make it possible to end the bloodbath in Bilad-ash-Shaam. Whatever can be done to end something as terrible as this is worth the effort.  I only have Syria in mind and whatever helps to stop that war.  There is also a lot of uncertainty involved. Though the Turkish opposition has spoken against AK Party's strategy concerning the Syrian war, there are no guarantees that even if Erdogan is out, his successor won't pursue the same (or similar) approach.

What is still not clear to me is the precise  percentage of non-secular Turks participating in these demos? Since the last two to three decades, large segments of Turkey's 74 million people have turned away from secularism to being practicing Muslims. At the moment secularists aren't supposed to comprise too much of the country's population. That's the reason Erdogan achieved three consecutive victories in the polls from 2003. If demos as huge as these are totally secular, how would one explain AK Party's continued and comfortable success until 2011?

Latest reports have opined the Turkish protests cannot be called "Islamists vs. secularists."  The crowd is very disparate from different walks of life coming together.  Secularists are concerned about issues like banning alcohol, imposition of dress codes etc.  In Istanbul Muslim women with headscarves were seen sitting on city buses and cheering young people trying to protect the park.  These young people were then seen chatting with Turkey's gay rights community workers.  Turks have been standing shoulder to shoulder with Kurds, forgetting their longstanding Turkish/Kurdish nationalism.  Housewives and retirees have appeared on the balconies of their apartments, noisily banging household pots & pans to show their support for the demonstrators. University students, traditionalists, libertarians and members of the moderate Islamist Gulen movement have all gotten together like a big bowl of tossed salad in a show of unity.  Some Islamists perceive Erodgan to be following a very aggressive form of capitalism neglecting Islamic values and environmental care.

But at the same time analysts think that Erdogan won't be overthrown and the protests will taper off eventually.  They cite two reasons for it.  First, mentality-wise the crowd is too diverse with very different priorities and perceptions.  They will not be able to adhere to a common cause for too long.  The chances are that they will run out of steam much before achieving their respective goals.  Secondly, looking at the 2011 election results, it's obvious that there is a large silent majority that hasn't come out on the streets to join the crowd because they support the government.  Experts suggest that apart from hampering with Erdogan's presidential ambitions, these protests won't hurt him beyond that.