Video dispatch 17: Pushback against the “dictator Erdogan” - Scenes from the “Turkish summer”

June 11, 2013

Police in Turkey fire pepper spray at the “Woman in the Red Dress,” Ceyda Sungur



[Note by Tom Gross]

Today has seen another round of vicious assaults by Turkish security forces on mostly peaceful demonstrators in central Istanbul. It has been a rough day and it looks like it will be a long night in the Turkish capital.

While Turkey’s increasingly Islamist and dictatorial Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has called the protestors “looters,” “pillagers,” “layabouts” and “hooligans,” they are in fact for the most part middle class pro-Western professional people – secular liberals, feminists, and environmental and gay activists.

Many protestors today have sustained serious head injuries, and at least 70 lawyers defending arrested protesters have themselves been arrested.

The protests are now spreading. Even supporters of Istanbul’s three big rival soccer clubs (Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray) have now united, each wearing their teams colors, to join anti-government protests.

Another group participating in the demonstrations is the country’s Alevi minority, that make up about 15 percent of Turkey’s population. Many are furious at Erdogan’s plans to build a new bridge over the Bosphorus that will be named Yavuz Sultan Suleiman Bridge, after the Ottoman sultan, “Selim the Grim,” historically known for his mass slaughter of Alevis.

Unlike, say Vladimir Putin, who some say is a mere autocrat, some commentators such as Peter Hitchens, fear Erdogan is far more worrying. As Hitchens points out “Erdogan is also a cunning and subtle Islamic fanatic, who knows he will get further if he pretends to be moderate, and in an unguarded moment said that democracy is ‘a tram you ride as far as you want to and then get off’.”

Below, I attach several videos from what (in the aftermath of the so-called “Arab spring”) is being dubbed by some the “Turkish summer”.

I have excluded other videos because I feel they are too bloody to post.


A demonstrator clashes with riot police in Istanbul's Gazi neighborhood on the evening of June 8


Among other recent dispatches on Turkey:

* Erdogan: Homosexuality ‘contrary to Islam’ (& Palestinian Authority: Erdogan should stay out of Gaza)

* Erdogan’s Kurdish gambit: Will it change the Mideast?

See also this further dispatch on the Gezi Park protests:

* Turkish paper blames anti-Erdogan protests on Jewish conspiracy


In the first two videos below, anti-government supporters have added music to the clips of the protests. These videos have been watched by millions of Turks on the internet, even though Turkish TV has tried to censor them.





Erdogan has tried to rally his base by alleging that these “hooligans” were “drinking in mosques.” In fact the mainly secular protestors have sought refuge in mosques, such as the one in this video that has become a first aid center:

Other dispatches in this video series can be seen here:

* Video dispatch 1: The Lady In Number 6

* Video dispatch 2: Iran: Zuckerberg created Facebook on behalf of the Mossad

* Video dispatch 3: Vladimir Putin sings “Blueberry Hill” (& opera in the mall)

* Video dispatch 4: While some choose boycotts, others choose “Life”

* Video dispatch 5: A Jewish tune with a universal appeal

* Video dispatch 6: Carrying out acts of terror is nothing new for the Assad family

* Video dispatch 7: A brave woman stands up to the Imam (& Cheering Bin Laden in London)

* Video dispatch 8: Syrians burn Iranian and Russian Flags (not Israeli and U.S. ones)

* Video Dispatch 9: “The one state solution for a better Middle East...”

* Video dispatch 10: British TV discovers the next revolutionary wave of Israeli technology

* Video dispatch 11: “Freedom, Freedom!” How some foreign media are reporting the truth about Syria

* Video dispatch 12: All I want for Christmas is...

* Video dispatch 13: “Amazing Israeli innovations Obama will see (& Tchaikovsky Flashwaltz!)

* Video dispatch 14: Jon Stewart under fire in Egypt (& Kid President meets Real President)

* Video dispatch 15: A rare 1945 BBC recording: Survivors in Belsen sing Hatikvah (& “No Place on Earth”)

* Video dispatch 16: Joshua Prager: “In search for the man who broke my neck”

* Video dispatch 17: Pushback against the “dictator Erdogan” - Videos from the “Turkish summer”

* Video dispatch 18: Syrian refugees: “May God bless Israel”

* Video dispatch 19: An uplifting video (& ‘Kenya calls in Israeli special forces to help end mall siege’)

* Video dispatch 20: No Woman, No Drive: First stirrings of Saudi democracy?

* Video dispatch 21: Al-Jazeera: Why can’t Arab armies be more humane like Israel’s?

* Video dispatch 22: Jerusalem. Tel Aviv. Beirut. Happy.

* Video dispatch 23: A nice moment in the afternoon

* Video dispatch 24: How The Simpsons were behind the Arab Spring

* Video dispatch 25: Iranians and Israelis enjoy World Cup love-in (& U.S. Soccer Guide)

* Video dispatch 26: Intensifying conflict as more rockets aimed at Tel Aviv

* Video dispatch 27: Debating the media coverage of the current Hamas-Israel conflict

* Video dispatch 28: CNN asks Hamas: “Do you really believe Jews slaughter Christians?” (& other items)

* Video dispatch 29: “Fighting terror by day, supermodels by night” (& Sign of the times)

* Video dispatch 30: How to play chess when you’re an ISIS prisoner (& Escape from Boko Haram)

* Video dispatch 31: Incitement to kill

* Video Dispatch 32: Bibi to BBC: “Are we living on the same planet?” (& other videos)

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.