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World Affairs
Turkey seething
Trouble for Erdogan
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ADEM ALTAN/AFP An anti-government protest in Ankara on June 6.

IT may not be a “Turkish Spring” but the people of Turkey have sent out a strong message to the AK (Justice and Development) Party government led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan that it cannot go on ruling in the usual way. The spark for the countrywide protests was provided by the ambitious redevelopment plan for Turkey’s biggest city, Istanbul. The sending of bulldozers to clear one of the last forested areas in the city, located near the iconic Taksim Square, and the efforts of a small environmentalist group to prevent its destruction, led to a spontaneous eruption of public fury. The protests that started in the beginning of June soon spread to most of the cities and towns. Only the towns located in the Anatolian heartland, the AK Party’s main support base, remained calm.

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