What The Turkey Protests Are Really About

#1 Taksim's Gezi Park, Istanbul


On May 31, 2013, a peaceful sit-in consisting mainly of students gathered together to protest the development of Gezi Park. The park is situated in the famed tourist hub and leisure district of Taksim Square. Local environmentalists sought to shed light on the government’s plan to turn the city's last green urban space into a shopping mall. As days progressed, the Gezi Park situation proved a catalyst for other underlying political unease. The government has been successful in economic affairs, both on a global scale and internally with health and education. Now their civil liberties were in the spotlight, as police demanded order over social activists. Many citizens voiced that Turkey’s economic improvements came alongside “non-democratic” processes of intolerance. Protests spread across the country and its tone morphed into an anti-government rally. The world watched as Prime Minister Erdogan's ruling party and administration, dealt with domestic dissidents and an escalating violent situation.