Gli attivisti turchi cercano di trasformare le proteste in vantaggio politico

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Gli attivisti turchi cercano di trasformare le proteste in vantaggio politico

–       I dimostranti turchi stanno cercando di trasformare in movimento politico le proteste scoppiate spontaneamente contro l’autoritarismo di Erdogan.

–       Hanno cambiato tattica, passando da scontri di strada a resistenza passiva;

–       organizzano riunioni notturne di consigli di quartiere nei vari parchi, per organizzare un’opposizione più significativa e mantenere la spinta.

–       Sparsi in decine di parchi a Istanbul e Ankara, migliaia di persone organizzate in consigli di quartiere, scambiano le idee sulle proteste scoppiate il 31 maggio; discutono come rivolgersi alla gente fuori dai centri urbani.

–       In quasi tre settimane di proteste, 5 gli uccisi e oltre 7500 i feriti.

–       Dopo la repressione violenta ora è in corso un’offensiva giudiziaria, con decine di arrestati.


–       Erdem Peköz, 35 anni, filosofo: La prima fase sono state le proteste di piazza; le riunioni pubbliche sono la seconda fase, che creerà una spinta in grado di far cadere il governo con una valanga di voti.


–       Alcuni partecipanti alle discussioni sono scettici sulla possibilità che la loro coalizione di “classe media” laica per lo più istruiti, di nazionalisti e di musulmani anti-capitalisti possa trasformarsi in una forza politica, dato che Erdogan è ancora saldo al potere.


–       Nel decennio di governo di Erdogan, la Turchia ha avuto una crescita economica del 5% medio annuo, giungendo a un PIL di $786 MD nel 2012.


–       Yigit, parlando a oltre 100 persone nel parto Cihangir di Istanbul: in Anatolia nessuno sa della lotta che stiamo conducendo; il nostro è un movimento molto piccolo concentrato nelle aree urbane, di Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir e alcune altre città.


–       Il movimento di protesta deve fare i conti anche con manifestazioni di massa filo-governative, centinaia di migliaia di partecipanti, in appoggio a Erdogan.

Anthony Skinner, di Maplecroft, società britannica di analisi rischi: I manifestanti non riusciranno a organizzare un’opposizione politica coesa perché non c’è un’entità unificante capace di tenere assieme questi disparati gruppi di interessi in tutta la Turchia.

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Turkey Activists Try to Turn Protests Into Political Gains

ISTANBUL—Turkey’s protesters, empowered after mounting the biggest threat to the government in a decade, are seeking to turn their spontaneous outburst into a political movement to challenge what they view as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian leadership.

–       After being pushed by security forces out of their Istanbul encampments, activists have in recent days changed their tactics, swapping street clashes for passive resistance. They are carrying out nightly neighborhood councils at local parks in an effort to organize a weightier opposition and to keep momentum.

Police arrest protesters in a park in the western city of Izmir. Turkish demonstrations have mostly subsided.

–       "Street protests were the first step. This public forum in the park is the second step, and it will create a momentum that will cause the government to lose its power with a landslide of votes. That will be the third step" said Erdem Peköz, a 35-year-old philosopher speaking at a park in Istanbul’s posh Etiler neighborhood.

–       Some participants in the forums were skeptical their coalition of mostly educated, middle-class secularists, nationalists and anticapitalist Muslims could become a political force, given Mr. Erdogan’s still formidable power as head of the governing Justice and Development Party, or AKP, after a decade in power.

–       "In Anatolia, no one has a clue about the struggle we just put up. This is a very small movement that is centered around urban areas such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and some other cities," said Yigit, who was addressing more than 100 people in Istanbul’s Cihangir Park, close to the epicenter of the protests.

–       The efforts come at a critical time, with Turkey preparing for local elections in March that will also serve as a referendum on the prime minister’s popularity. A few months later, voters will go to the polls for Turkey’s first direct presidential election, when Mr. Erdogan is widely expected to run and push for broader executive powers.

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–       The protesters are racing against time as each passing day eats away at the momentum built during clashes with the police. They also face massive pro-government rallies to shore up support for the prime minister, who is casting the demonstrators as looters and radicals trying to destabilize Turkey.

–       "Protesters won’t be able to organize into a cohesive political opposition because there is no unifying entity that can bring together these otherwise disparate interest groups across Turkey," said Anthony Skinner, a director at Maplecroft, a U.K.-based risk analytics firm. "That in itself perpetuates the risk for further unrest. Anything that is perceived as reflecting Erdogan’s autocratic style of rule will trigger a backlash over an extended period of time."

Turkish protesters stand in Taksim Square.

–       Scattered across dozens of parks in Istanbul and the capital Ankara, thousands of people, organized into neighborhood councils, shared observations from the protests that erupted May 31. They also talked about how to appeal to people outside urban centers.

–       Using codes of conduct adopted across all forums, participants made an X with their arms to show disagreement, used a basketball referee’s sign for traveling to urge people to wrap up, and waved their hands to show support. The sign language was adopted to silently express thoughts without disturbing the neighborhood, as the meetings started after 9 p.m. Remarks were limited to about three minutes, and direct calls from the audience were banned.

"We have a long way ahead of us, and many things to change. We’re inclined to try to fix everything immediately, but we need to recognize that it’s not possible to get everything done at once and focus on our goals," said Levent, a frizzy-haired and bearded protester in Istanbul.

–       Opposition to Mr. Erdogan’s plan to raze central Istanbul’s Gezi Park for development triggered the protests, but the organizers have now broadened their efforts to try to connect with AKP voters, protect local neighborhoods, beat Mr. Erdogan’s candidate for Istanbul’s mayor in the coming municipal elections, campaign for the release of detained protesters and boycott pro-government businesses.

–       The public forums come after the government used tear gas and water cannons to reclaim Gezi Park and adjacent Taksim Square, evicting protesters who had occupied the area for more than a week in a series of attacks. In almost three weeks of unrest, five people have been killed and more than 7,500 injured.

–       Next, authorities went on the legal offensive, detaining dozens of people in raids that signal the beginning of a judicial crackdown that analysts say is an effort to silence popular opposition.

–       "At this point, when the biggest demonstration has been staged and some people have been killed, we won’t be leading another charge in the streets," said Berrak, a 27-year-old who works in entertainment. "What matters now is taking this movement forward. We learned to organize throughout these events, now we will expand in little steps."

–       On the political front, the prime minister’s AKP, known for its effective grass roots organization, is rallying hundreds of thousands of people against the antigovernment protests and to promote "respect to the national will."

Mr. Erdogan has said that protesters, backed by a shadowy network of international and domestic organizations, are staging a "big play" to disrupt Turkey’s political stability and economic growth.

–       During the prime minister’s single-party rule in the past decade, the economy has expanded by an average 5% annually to reach $786 billion last year.

Taking a sweep at foreign media for what the prime minister characterized as sensational coverage to damage Turkey, Mr. Erdogan has said the demonstrations don’t reflect the country’s reality.

"We will continue to show the real scenery, the real picture of Turkey, the nation’s real feelings to both those domestic traitors and their external co-conspirators," Mr. Erdogan said Tuesday.

–       The premier is preparing three demonstrations across Anatolia starting Friday, which build on nine rallies in four cities in the past two weeks. "We expect all our brothers, who are reacting to this ugly game, at these rallies."

—Fercan Yalinkilic contributed to this article.

Write to Emre Peker at

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