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Turkish protests in Gezy Park

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Thanks for this revealing link.

We need to spend time and identify with the pain and suffering there.

I applaud the bravery of the folk that want freedoms and a better life and just demonstrate but are not violent. The use of plastic bullets and tear gas seems inappropriate.

Stepping back, there have been remarkable economic gains in Turkey over the past decade. There should be room for a multicultural and tolerant society. Certainly, there's no logical reason for all the nationalistic heritage of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk to be tossed aside in a continued march to strongman theocratic rule.

All Middle Eastern countries have strong religious roots. These should be treasured and protected but not be the only reason for a state to exist. The conjoining of religious fervor with national identity is not healthy unless the state is equally committed to freedom from religion and folk are allowed to opt out and worship or not as they please. Unfortunately, each country has issues here, some worse than others.

In some places, the "other" are non-religious, foreign workers without rights or any status or maybe belonging to a religion of "inferior" status.

Turkey has a strong enough national identity to overcome such divisions. they just need to allow room for folk to breathe. Either one has a democracy or some sort of dictatorship.

Turkey is not yet in any existential crisis as is Syria, but this Turkish spring, does show up fractures in how the society is glued together.