Saturday, June 1, 2013

Turkish Summer

The angry demonstrations in Turkey over the destruction of a central Istanbul park to make way for a shopping mall are not just about the love of green spaces. They show that in the Muslim world, almost any situation can spark revolt. Suddenly, an array of irritants coalesce, their nature depending on the society.  In Turkey they include casualties resulting from the spillover    of the Syrian civil war, which exacerbate the Sunni/Shi’a tensions that typify the Muslim world.

As Turkey  burnishes its modern economic credentials, ironically, and In part thanks to the internet, its civil society is increasingly defined by the myriad components of Occupy Movement: power to the people, rejection of consumerism, determination to save the planet from a climate meltdown, and when necessary, fierce resistance to the forces of law and order.

The Turkish domestic riots and the fighting in Syria which involves foreign volunteers represent-ing every political and religious hue, are two faces of a twenty-first century paradigm that combines the defining moment of the French Revolution, when ‘the people’ first decided they had had enough - and the Communist Manifesto’s slogan ‘Workers of the World, Unite!” However, today’s youth are inclined to reject government, finance and industry in favor of anarchist-inspired commu-nity, as illustrated by the worldwide demonstra-tions against Monsanto that took place this week and the second day of protests in Frankfurt against the European Central Bank.



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