Yigit Usenmez argues that the protests in Turkey are a minority secular, atheistic uprising against a religious government which represents the majority.
Before I begin with what is actually happening in Turkey, there are some facts which need to be cleared up first to gain an insight into the current political upheaval.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been the Prime Minister of Turkey since 2003. He was educated at Imam Hatip School, an institute that is still frowned upon by the elite and the anti-religion establishment of Turkey, as it was founded on a religious ideology.
In 1999 he was imprisoned for reciting a poem in public in which he criticized the Turkish government for its failures. After that he established the current ruling party i.e. AK Party, also known as “Justice and Development Party.”
In his first term he won the election with a majority of 34%, in his second term he won with a 47% majority and in the third term he won by 49.8%. For the first time in 52 years, a party in power had bagged more votes in its second term, let alone the third. It is clear that the majority of Turks have stood behind the AK party.
The CHP party, the main opposition party, is an ultra liberal party, which does not shy away from showing its disgust over religion being part of politics. The BDP party is a socialist party working mainly for the rights of Kurds. It also hates the AK party due to its religious ideology. The BDP and CHP have both taken abominable stances with regards to the Syrian conflict and have been showing their sympathy and support for Bashar al Asad since day one.
Next in line is the TKP, a far-left communist party lead mainly by atheists and which is a bastion of anti religion forces. Again they have supported Assad wholeheartedly and have sympathized with all communist regimes, regardless of their oppression.
Then among the anti AK parties are those which are banned in Turkey due to their terrorist activities. For example the militant communist parties like Halk Cephesi and DHKP.
Since the creation of Turkey there has been a minority that has ruled over the majority, taking in process the blood, sweat and tears of the Turkish masses. As a result of free and fair election the tables were turned and Erdogan came into power.
One can write books upon books as to what Erdogan has achieved in his tenure. It is simple to say that the elites of Turkey, who ape the West, can’t get over the fact that a religious – read “backward” – man has been ruling over them for some time now. Erdogan’s achievements obliterate their argument that religion equals backwardness, as Erdogan outranks every single Turkish Prime Minister in history in terms of economic and social achievements.
What has really happened?
There is a park in Taksim in which there are about 12 or more trees standing and the government wants to cut them down it to make way for a museum and a shopping centre. As a result the tree huggers started a campaign.
This park was formed in 1939 following the government’s order to demolish a remarkably-designed Ottoman barrack. The current government wants to reconstruct the building and make it a museum, and for that 12 trees need to be chopped down.
CHP, TKP, DHKP, BDP and all those opposing the current government used this as a disguise to stage anti-government protests with the slogan: “we stand united against the authoritarian regime.” These leeches never stood for Syrians or any other humanitarian cause for that matter.
When the universities didn’t allow female students with headscarf and deprived them their right for education, which one of them came out to protest? None! When they were forced to take off their scarves and wear wigs which of these parties wrote to Amnesty International, European Union, and the international media? None!
This protest is not over bunch of trees but in fact it is an attempt to derail the AK party, derail religious leadership and most importantly hide their hypocrisy. Yes in some areas the police did come down heavy on the protestors and to Erdogan’s credit he ordered a full investigation, but I ask when was throwing Molotov Cocktails an acceptable form of protesting? What were they expecting when they raised flags of a terrorist organization? When was it ok to spray “F** the police” on shops?
They never protested when Israel killed Turkish citizens on the Mavi Marmara, and they sure as hell didn’t ask “Occupy Wall Street” to aid them then. Now Occupy Wall Street, Bruce Willis, and the rest of the propaganda machinery are trying to stick their noses into Turkey’s politics.
These people cannot fathom the reality that a graduate from a pariah religious school has become the Prime Minister of their country. They cannot fathom the idea that in the Turkish “white house” there is a woman who wears headscarf and in government meetings alcohol is not permitted. They can’t fathom the fact that women in scarves have access to higher education.
Arab Spring? You must be joking! Erdogan has freed Turkey from IMF loans, it has the 5th fastest growing economy in the world, and it has started to develop its own military equipment rather than being dependent on others. There is fair access to social services and he has given more rights to Kurds than any other Turkish regime. He was the first non-African president to go to Somalia, he visited Gaza, he talked about Islamophobia on international forums, he criticized Israel and mobilized against her.
He slayed the dragon of inflation; created a much more stable economy; aided Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq and Syria. Every province now has its own university, school books are handed out for free. He has increased female enrollment rates and doubled the number of universities in Turkey. The list goes on and on.