Brazil, Turkey: Emerging Markets, Emerging Riots. Brazil and Turkey, two so-called emerging market economies, have been undergoing massive public protests over the last few weeks, protests that erupted simultaneously against the ruling parties in each country.
The unrest in both countries was sparked by small protests against relatively minor issues: a hike in public transport fares in Brazil, and a construction proposal in a city park in Turkey. Yet, in both countries, these initial small protests rapidly evolved into nationwide uprisings after being repressed by sheer police violence. Despite the many similarities between the two cases, however, the government responses have diverged. In what follows, I will track the similarities and explain the divergences. The similarities in the two cases have been striking. But there are also differences. A year after the protests, Gezi Park nurtures the seeds of a new Turkey. As the former head gardener of Gezi Park for 20 years, Cemal Özay, 68, knows every inch by heart and remembers every tree he planted.
"What is it with this government's love for concrete? " he says. "When I started, this park was a huge garden, green and full of flowers I had grown myself. " Last year this small area of Istanbul witnessed very different scenes. In what was arguably the largest wave of protests in recent Turkish history, hundreds of thousands took to the streets to contest the proposed demolition of the park to make way for an Ottoman-style shopping centre, a project pushed personally by prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "They don't like trees, because trees don't generate a profit," Özay concludes.
The government's uncompromising stance and a heavy-handed police crackdown on protesters led to the protests quickly spreading all over Turkey, turning an initial environmental movement into a revolt against the increased authoritarianism of the country's leader. Por que o povo está protestando na Turquia? – Me Explica? Assemblies emerging in Turkey: a lesson in democracy. The protesters are starting to counter-pose their own direct democracy to the sham of a democracy proposed by Erdogan’s authoritarian neoliberal state.
Something quite amazing is happening in Istanbul. In addition to the silent “standing man” actions around the country, people’s assemblies are slowly starting to emerge in different neighborhoods across the city. As in Spain, Greece and the Occupy encampments before, the protesters in Turkey are starting to counter-pose their own form of direct democracy to the sham of a democracy proposed by Erdogan’s authoritarian neoliberal state. If there was ever any doubt, this shows how deeply intertwined the global struggles truly are. As the state launches its merciless witch hunt on protesters, activists and Tweeters, thousands of people are starting to gather in dignity in various public spaces. These meetings have nothing to do with Taksim Solidarity any more. What, then, is real democracy? But there is something more. (7) Occupy Gezi.
Los 10 Días de la Resistencia. How a 'Lady in Red' became the symbol of Turkey's unrest. Last week, Ceyda Sungur was an academic in Istanbul.
On May 28th, she became the "Lady in Red" — an unwitting symbol of Turkey’s anti-government protests, and the disproportionate force used to quell them. Sungur, a research assistant at Istanbul Technical University’s school of urban planning, was among the hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Istanbul’s Gezi Park last week, where environmentalists and others had been staging a peaceful protest against government plans to convert the area into a shopping center. By the time Sungur arrived at the park last Tuesday, the scene had devolved into violence, with police attempting to disperse protesters with tear gas, pepper spray, and water cannons.
The clashes at Gezi Park have since sparked larger movements across the country, with demonstrators taking to the streets in protest against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who many see as increasingly authoritarian and socially conservative. A 3ª república turca, os curdos, transformar o Poder. Tradução pela UniNômade do texto do coletivo Otonom, ativo nas greves e mobilizações radicalmente democráticas disparadas na Turquia na última semana.
Segundo o coletivo, a chave para a superação dos impasses e dilemas da esquerda turca, bem como de “todo o movimento político mundial”, está no movimento político curdo, um movimento de “transformação da vida e da prática” baseado na desnacionalização. Articula-se uma crítica à razão moderna centrada no Poder que separa sujeito do objeto para a dominação “racionalizada” do mundo da vida. Turquia: oito dias de sangue.