An Open Revolt in Turkey!
An Open Revolt in Turkey!
Protests and demonstrations opposing the ruling AKP in Turkey have rocked Istanbul, Ankara, and other cities over the last week. There are a number of demands, social andeconomic, but also significant among them is the demand to pull out of Syrian intrigues, end the alliance with NATO and USrael, and even for Erdogan to step down. This is either aimed at ushering in new elections before the 2014-2015 election cycle or possibly even something more radical than this. Naturally the latter possibility will depend in large part on both the role of the trade unions and the military. Both institutions having large numbers of sympathizers of nationalism (and related), Kemalism, and communism (and related); these can with some provisos be placed under the category ‘Eurasianist Current in Turkey’ and under this the subheading ‘Ergenekon’ [1.]
These protesters have rocked the ruling AKP’s claim to legitimacy in several days of robust demonstrations, bolstered by more recent news that Turkey’s main trade union federation has backed the protests. As of Thursday June 6th 2013 certain facts are becoming more clear.
Only a few years ago Turkey was being hailed as ‘the tiger of the Middle East’, because of its high GDP growth of between 8.5% and 9.5 percent in the preceding years. The realities of the European banking crises and the retarding economic growth in the west however did finally take a toll on Turkey, reducing this growth to 3% in 2012 and practically no growth since the start of 2013. With unemployment rising, the reality of the shaky European credit and banking problems are certainly hitting Turkey. This has in turn led to a reduction in credit and spending; all problems specific to neoliberal economics – a proven failed model for society.
In addition the stock market and currency exchange has reacted to the recent public display of no-confidence, with the Borsa losing over 10 points in just one day of trading on June 2. The Lira also weakened in relation to both the Euro and the Dollar.Adding to this social pressure cooker, the Erdogan government has been guilty of serious curtailments on press freedoms making Turkey today the leading country in incarcerated journalists. A number of these arrests and indefinite detentions relate to the purging of Ergenekon sympathizers and supporters from civil society and the military.Taken all together, we can see that there is a sober basis to declare the present situation ‘revolutionary’, though we are reluctant at this point to affirm this without provisions.