Open Phones: Turkish Listeners on the Protests in Istanbul and Beyond

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Protests and clashes with police in Turkey are making headlines around the world. If you have ties to Turkey, tell us what you're hearing from friends and family and what you understand as the big issues in the demonstrations. How much is the issue the balance between a religious and a secular state? Why did a rally over a park turn into a larger protest? Plus, Steve Coll of The New Yorker joins to talk about the larger context of what happening in Turkey.


Steve Coll

Comments [7]

Mehves Kocak

This movement would not have been born had it just been about a park !!! This movement would not have been born had the Turkish government not used excessive tear gas, plastic bullets, tanks, helicopters and physical violence, often on unarmed citizens, to crush peaceful Gezi Park protesters. In a true democracy, citizens have the power and ability to question and amend government initiatives without threat to their lives or well being.This movement would not have been born had the major Turkish media channels covered the riots from the start. Instead, strong ties between media outlets and the government have compelled Turkish protesters to use social media like Twitter and Facebook (both deemed “a menace to society” by Prime Minister Erdoğan) to seek the attention of foreign news sources. In a true democracy, the media is independent and journalists report current events in a balanced way.

We are here to bring attention, awareness and a louder voice for the people of Turkey.

As we aim to bridge the divide within our nation before it is too vast to repair, we need the world's support. Please hear our concerns and spread the word to help us stop this government-sanctioned, senseless violence against the people of Turkey. Become a part of the conversation and stand with us in solidarity.

Im Turkish Journalist, live in NYC since 2005. Im radio show host also Im writing articles to Turkish newspapers.

I have been attached radical muslims in Turkey so many times when i was working some Turkish tv channels

Thank You,

Jun. 04 2013 01:00 PM
Nigar İbrahimzade

Azerbaijan is another country, that not only allows Jews or İsraelis to visit it, but also has a strong relationship with İsrael, zero antisemitism and an anclave jewsih village on it's North.

Jun. 04 2013 12:57 PM
William from Manhattan

Very engaging call-in. I happens that before the current uprisings in Turkey, I started reading a new book that has been giving me some great historical/cultural/political context. I'm only halfway done, but can already highly recommend Jenny White's "Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks" (Princeton University Press: Dr White might be a good guest for a future in-depth segment as events develop in Turkey.

Jun. 04 2013 10:53 AM
B4 its 2late

Besides Turkey, are there any other Muslim places which allow Jews or Israeli passports to visit?

Jun. 04 2013 10:46 AM
Karen from Istanbul, Turkey

My sister in law had a lovely Turkish exchange student last year. Here is what she recently wrote about the situation:

The government's forces act so cruel here.

I only protested for 3 nights as short periods since I ran away when I smelled the real danger. The first night was all fun. I was in the group that walked 7kms in 2,5 hrs during the night. The second night, I directly fell into the police's trap and inhaled the gas in the real hell. I ran away as quick as possible. It's hard to forget those moments. My eyes were teary not only because of the gas but also the real violence of the police. Lots of people got injured -some even died- that night after I've gone. The third day, police's method was clear, and our protesting plans were more logical. First, we protested right around the police vehicles and before the night falls, ran to the Gezi Park (where the fire started). It was all like a beautiful festival within a disaster. So much music and fun happened with the victory of gone cops. It was a trap, too. They came back from the other direction, and I was one of those who ran away, cause we all knew that they were on the way. Now, I am back to Izmir, my home, safe and happy with my family. In the city center, the violence's gone so wild but in our neighborhood, thousands walk with their rising voice. We support them from the balcony, anneanne (my grandma) is holding the flag an clapping them. Tomorrow, my cousin and I are planning to join that peace walk, I am sure it will be fun.

I don't know what exactly has been told by the international media; but believe me, we are only fighting for our rights and resisting against the fascist regime. This country have not seen any boycott like this -kind, young, and peaceful. It's not only a bunch of young people who is looking for some adventure. It's a united awakening, and we are ready for all the constructive and lawful solutions.

Please keep following the situation. Thank you for asking.

Jun. 04 2013 10:44 AM
Tom Rodeheaver from Upstate NY

Sounds like some of the leaders of the Republican Party. They seem to be fellow travelers.

Jun. 04 2013 10:44 AM

Here's an email excerpt received yesterday from my friend in Istanbul: "if you can please spread the word about what the hell is going on in Istanbul, it would mean the world to me & everyone else struggling here against gov supported police brutality.. I'm also tweeting (almost exclusively) in English about the events from @respiroergosum."

Jun. 04 2013 10:43 AM

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