Turkey’s Protests: Three Things to Know

June 6, 2013 4:41 pm (EST)

Turkey’s Protests: Three Things to Know
Explainer Video
from Video

A demonstration over plans to replace Istanbul’s Gezi Park with an urban development project has inspired widespread anti-government protests across Turkey. Steven Cook, CFR’s senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, highlights three things to know about the protests:

More From Our Experts

More on:

Political Movements

Turkey

Protests Will Not Oust Erdogan: The protests in Turkey should not be equated with uprisings in Egypt or other Arab countries, Cook emphasizes. If Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to leave, it can only happen "through the ballot box," he says.

More on:

Political Movements

Turkey

Broader Concerns at Play: While the development plans for Gezi Park had originally sparked the protests, these demonstrations are about the "authoritarian turn in Turkish politics," says Cook. Protestors are voicing their concerns over larger issues such as environmental destruction, police brutality, crony capitalism, and the "marginalization of the people who disagree with [Erdogan’s] world view."

More From Our Experts

More on:

Political Movements

Turkey

Defusing Tensions: The demonstrations can only be defused "through some type of gesture from Prime Minister Erdogan himself," Cook argues. Attempts by other Turkish leaders to quell tensions have so far been unsuccessful because so much of the public anger is directed at Erdogan personally.

More on:

Political Movements

Turkey

Close

Top Stories on CFR

United Nations General Assembly

U.S. President Joe Biden made his first address before the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. His message, both to his domestic and foreign audiences, was clear: The United States is back and at the ready. 

Somalia

Reflections on the shortcoming of U.S. policy in Afghanistan have brought lessons that can be used to rethink American policy toward Somalia.

Myanmar

Since the Myanmar military seized power in February, it has overseen economic collapse, mishandled the COVID-19 pandemic, murdered hundreds of people, and set the stage for the state to fail.