June 12, 2013 |
Protesters defying a blunt warning from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan engaged in running battles Tuesday with police who unleashed clouds of tear gas and blasts of water cannons in an effort to end nearly two weeks of protest. After daylong street battles, protesters who were chased away in the early morning swarmed back into Istanbul's central Taksim Square, which has become a focus for grievances in a country long regarded as a model of democracy and economic growth in the Muslim world.
June 12, 2013 |
ISTANBUL, Turkey - With swagger and grand designs, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rose to power more than a decade ago, heralding a new Islamist-based democracy he envisioned as a model for a Muslim world caught in the grip of autocrats, kings and despots. But more than two weeks of protest against Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian rule have brought a reckoning to a leader who, despite his political astuteness, has miscalculated the fervor from a large part of an electorate opposed to the creeping religious conservatism of his Justice and Development Party, or AKP. Erdogan is still very much in control, and few would venture that the crisis will bring him down, but the protests have hurt him politically and exposed misgivings within his party.
June 4, 2013 |
How to interpret the recent unrest on the streets of Istanbul and about 50 other Turkish cities? Specifically, is it comparable to the Arab uprisings over the last 2 1/2 years in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain? On one level, they appear unrelated, for Turkey is a far more advanced country, with a democratic culture and a modern economy. But two connections - autocracy and Syria - do tie them together, suggesting that the Turkish demonstrations could have a potentially deep importance.
June 2, 2013 |
ISTANBUL, Turkey - A weekend of protest in Turkey has left the country reeling, with thousands of dissidents taking to the streets after a brutal police crackdown, presenting the government with the most cohesive challenge in its more than a decade in power. "The government is passing laws that go against our freedom, that take away our rights," said 31-year-old Derya Bozkurt as she stood in the heart of Taksim Square in central Istanbul on Sunday evening. She was drinking a beer and smoking a cigar - powerful statements in present-day Turkey, where Islamists frown on alcohol consumption and cigar smoking is hardly the social norm for a woman.
November 1, 2010 |
A suicide bomber struck the commercial and cultural heart of Turkey on Sunday, injuring at least 32 people at a major Istanbul crossroads popular with tourists. Taksim Square, a vast transportation and commercial hub, is the city's busiest node. The apparent targets of the 10:30 a.m. explosion were police officers at a law enforcement substation at the square's northern end. At least 15 of those injured were police officers, and two of the wounded suffered life-threatening injuries.
October 31, 2010 |
At least 22 people were injured Sunday by an apparent suicide bombing in the heart of Turkey's premier city, Istanbul, Turkish media reported. The 10:30 a.m. explosion struck Taksim Square, a vast transportation and commercial hub that is the city's busiest node. The apparent targets were police officers at a law enforcement substation at the square's northern end. At least 10 of those injured were police, and two of the wounded face life-threatening injuries. Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin said more bombs were found in the square, according to Turkey's semi-official Anatolia news agency.