Gezi Park Resistance Article Series – No. 11
Criticism to Erdoğan Goes Deeper than Trees
and “Interference with Lifestyles”
Some observers explain the Gezi Park protests and the Turkish government’s harsh clampdown as a new chapter in the conflict between secularists and Islamists. The argument goes that most protestors are well-educated “White Turks” from middle class backgrounds, and their main reason for taking the streets is the government’s increasing interference with their lifestyles, exemplified by the abortion debate and the new law restricting the sale of alcohol. Erdoğan himself has been presenting the events to his followers as a civilian coup attempt backed by foreigners and the “interest-rate lobby.” He has no scruples about voicing inflammatory (and in more than one occasion, false) allegations against the protestors in his party rallies, which he organized hastily as a showdown in the face of protests.