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June 13, 2013

Countdown: Erdogan Says "I Am Giving You My Final Warning;" Demands Protesters Evacuate Park by Nightfall

There may be some brutality tonight.

For background, for anyone who hasn't been following this interesting story: Although the start of the protests was Erdogan's plan to pave over one of the few public parks in sprawling, overdeveloped Istanbul, millions of people have joined the protest not over the immediate cause of the park itself, but to protest Erdogan's autocratic, demagogic, I-only-care-about-my-base style of rulership (sound familiar?) as well as his his increasing Islamization of a nation which is declared, per its constitution, to be secular.

A cheap tyrant working to, ahem, fundamentally transform a country in contravention of its constitution? Why, I'm sure glad nothing like that happens in America!

Oh, and the media assisted him in all this. The one channel that bravely showed video of the protests when other channels showed... penguin documentaries is being heavily fined for corrupting the morals of children with the news. Other channels are being fined too (they started showing the protests later, after a national outcry against the media), but it's Halk TV which is deemed the most corrupting of The Little Children.

Of course, the protesters might also be corrupting the morals of The Little Children by dancing:

(By the way, from the standpoint of pure propaganda: This is one of the best-run demonstrations I've ever seen. Of course, it helps when your enemies are against dancing, beer, trees, and liberty, and pretty much everything except work, shopping, and going to the mosque. Gives you a lot of good material to work with.)

It's not clear what the protesters want, exactly. Or, rather, what they want seems out of reach (deposing Erdogan and installing a new government), so it's not clear what they'll take as a substitute for that.

Erdogan has promised them a referendum on the fate of the park, which he'll probably fix anyway.

Per this site, Turkey's sunset was at 8:37 local time, which is 12:37 Eastern time, so the deadline passed an hour ago.

But they may be working on some sort of compromise:

Although this isn't about the park per se, I'm sure they'd take a favorable decision on the park, as that would demonstrate that their voices must be heard and that Erdogan cannot rule as a king; but I think that's precisely why Erdogan would never offer that.

As with most people with poorly-formed egos, he's likely transfixed with the idea of "winning" and "showing his power" and all the rest of it.

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posted by Ace at 02:13 PM

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