Skip to main content

Gezi Park Protests May Be Erdogan's Election Investment

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan may be exploiting street protests to divide people to prepare for elections
Protesters arrive in the late afternoon at Istanbul's Taksim square June 12, 2013. Turkey's president called on Wednesday for dialogue with legitimate demonstrators after riot police cleared the Istanbul square at the centre of almost two weeks of protest against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis (TURKEY - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) - RTX10LBJ

It took 17 days for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to finally meet representatives of Gezi Park protesters, but two points made it questionable even before it got started: Erdogan asked today, June 12, for his interior minister to end the protests within 24 hours, and the police carried out last night, June 11, probably the most intensive crackdown at Istanbul’s Taksim Square since the demonstrations started on May 27.

The Turkish Medical Association reported that about 2,000 people were injured at last night’s events. As a result, Taksim Solidarity Group (TSG) canceled its attendance at the meeting and stated that those who talk to the prime minister cannot represent them. “While police violence continues at Gezi Park and its surroundings, these meetings won’t provide any results,” TSG said.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.