Sunday, June 2, 2013


Yesterday my brother-in-law had to close his shop doors and hide. He thought he was going to have to spend the night there on the shop floor. Instead he managed to make a run for it and got a lift with a passing stranger close-ish to his home. The riots have come to Ankara. Tear gas was fired, and protesters tried to run away through his shopping centre. There were no buses, no taxis - the downtown district was effectively in a bubble.

Here in Fethiye there have been peaceful protests, regularly scheduled, and only turned back by the police when they got to close to the AKP Party (the government) headquarters. But we will not be going into town today. The children are dissapointed. The circus is in town and we have tickets. However no matter how peaceful things may currently be, it takes one small spark of over-enthusiastic policing, or one tiny match of grieved protester for things to change.

I don't know what I feel about it all. The pictures of streets carpeted with tear-gas canisters are disturbing. But the fires and the rage of the people are disturbing too. I don't think Erdogan (the prime minister) is all bad - Turkey has a debt free, rapidly growing economy - but I am not so keen on his rather controlling attitude. I would prefer finances to be spent on alleviating inner-city school class sizes of 60+ rather than a new airport. But I don't actually know how government finances work.

I will not be joining in the protests. I am far too ill-informed. This is not my country - if I don't like how things are run I should get out. But I am glad the the Turkish people have found a voice, that they are standing up for what they believe. It is their country and my hopes are that they will be allowed  express their opinions.

We wait and see what Monday will bring.

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