Young Turks, slut-shaming and the genie coming out of the bottle

[Update 9/6/13 – this, by a participant in the protests, is also v. useful. Hat-tip to Mrs T.]

It’s kicking off everywhere, innit?

Have read two fantastic articles about Istanbul/Turkey today.  The first was in the Financial Times (which really is essential reading for any serious anarchist, socialist or communist).

“A change of tempo” by David Gardner and Daniel Dombey starts

Listen to Recep Tayyip Erdogan and it becomes clear that Istanbul’s Taksim Square has been over-run by looters and vandals, extremists with foreign terrorist links, alcoholics and losers.
But after a week as a self-policing commune – more Paris 1968 than Tahrir Square 2011 – Taksim has become something far more dangerous: an urban oasis of festive mockery puncturing the pretensions of a man who seems to want to mould modern Turkey in his own pious image…

It explains (in terms similar to the Guardian piece mentioned below) what the protests are “about” (beyond the initial sparks of destruction of green space and typical bouts of police violence) for the participants. It looks to the possible end-game-

President Gul and AKP elders may tell[Erdogan] unless he finds a way down from this position, his alternative is to retake Taksim Square by force – a devastating outcome for Turkey and his reputation.

If I were Erdogan, I’d be trying to engineer/fabricate some atrocity in the square that could plausibly be pinned on the occupiers.  Then come in to “save” the situation.  But would it work? If it were exposed in real time – and these things can be nowadays cos of the Interwebz and a VERY savvy yoof movement – then it could go very very Pete Tong for him and the AKP…

The second is in the Guardian.  It’s also a very cogent analysis, with examples of young people learning from each other, and about their own prejudices.

It is unclear how long Istanbul’s summer of love will last. In the meantime, the young protesters are enjoying their own utopian moment: flirting, debating, drinking cans of Efes beer, and learning from each other. At first groups of students chanted: “We are the soldiers of Ataturk”; this died out after feminist protesters objected to its militaristic overtones. Bakirdoven said: “We used to sing ‘Erdogan is the son of a whore’. But when the police teargassed us, one of the brothels on Taksim Square opened its doors, and the women gave us shelter and treated us with lemons. We don’t sing that any more.”

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