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11 June 2013

Izmir by Night - Gezi Park Protests

Every night since end of May 2013 Izmirians have been out on the streets banging pots, blowing whistles, chanting slogans and using their democratic right to protest. It is here that I query whether or not the right to protest and the act of protesting actually really accomplishes anything. This being said and seeing the head of state of many countries fall because of protest I could be very wrong. Usually, in a democratic labelled country the art of protest does little, so, I suppose you could argue that bringing democracy to a country in theory gives you less democratic rights. A democratic country will never let a minority protest win, therefore in this respect the current head of Turkey is right with wanting to quash the protests. Although many, if not all the cities of Turkey joined in from what I can gather it was not the majority of each city. This could be because they are scared to protest, could be because their allegiances are not with the protesters, could be because they are not quite aware of the changes that are taking place in their country. Maybe the reason people didn't join the protests was because they think the protests are just about the park or maybe they were just watching the Turkish Olympics, the show that overshadowed the protests even though in almost all cities their were disturbances. Most of the news channels didn't show much of what was going on and when they did they were just labelled as provacateurs.

So, what now for the protesters. They are out on the streets almost every night and there is a stale-mate of sorts. Who knows what will happen but with the head of the country inflaming them more and creating a wider gap between the protesters and 'us'. This is an unknown. Calm is needed but judging by the picture below, will it be found?

Protesting Izmir at night - Alsancak and Konak.