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Is Taksim the Turkish Tahrir?

I thought not, until I came to Istanbul.
Protesters shout anti-government slogans during a demonstration at Taksim Square in central Istanbul June 3, 2013. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan called for calm on Monday, after a weekend of fierce anti-government protests, urging people not to be provoked by demonstrations he said had been organised by "extremist elements". Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Turkey's biggest cities over the weekend and clashed with riot police firing tear gas, leaving hundreds of people injured.  RE

Turkey is not Egypt. Taksim is not Tahrir. That was my conviction when I arrived in Istanbul on June 1, but when I entered Taksim Square, I was more than a little surprised. I did not expect so many people. I immediately felt a Tahrir vibe. The atmosphere was friendly, relaxed. Deep into the night, people began to collect the rubbish spontaneously.

The first person I approached answered without hesitation when I asked him what this was all about: “This is the same as the Arab Spring. We want the government, and certainly, the prime minister to listen to the people. But even better, it’s time for him to go. You see how he controls the media? They pretend nothing is happening here.”

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