Turkish Protestors Ruin Cars as Demonstrations Continue

Image Courtesy of abc.net.au

Image Courtesy of abc.net.au

Violent anti-government protests continue in Istanbul as thousands of demonstrators have smashed and overturned police cars and other vehicles.

The protestors are reacting to oppression by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. This is due to his implementations of limits on alcohol sales and marketing, refusal to allow labour unions to rally in Taskim on May Day, and arrests of hundreds of military officers, academics, journalists and lawyers on charges of attempting to overthrow the government.

Initially, protests begun over a government project to redevelop a park near Taksim square in central Istanbul and have now spread to dozens of Turkish cities. Activists have used social media sites to organize gatherings, as local-media coverage has been muted.

“There is now a menace which is called Twitter. The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society,” said Erdogan, who has held office for 10 years but is now being denounced as a dictator by protestors.

Violent police crackdowns involving tear gas to push back protestors and raids through shopping complexes to detain protestors have ignited the demonstrations.

Erdogan blamed the main secular opposition party for inciting the crowds and said protests were aimed at depriving his ruling AK Party, an Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party, of votes as elections are scheduled for next year.

Nikki got her first taste of journalism as a teenager working for The Mississauga News. Since then, she’s graduated from the Ryerson School of Journalism and also travelled to the United Kingdom to intern for the London Daily Express. She now works and freelances in the online world.

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