İsyanbol: More thoughts re the situation in Turkey

Wednesday, June 5

Today things were again pretty calm. With Turkish PM Erdogan still in North Africa, the situation here has become considerably more relaxed.

Tonight I met up with the Famous Mr. G, my first ever boss, the man who brought me to Turkey to work after college. He's still living here, staying just down the road, in fact, from my present accommodations in the Koy of Arnavut.

Tomorrow, PM Erdogan comes back to Turkey, and his return raises all kinds of questions. What will happen next?

Frankly, I don't see the exit. Erdogan, a man who spent months in prison for having once read a poem in public, is not someone to back down from a fight. There's no way he's going to resign, and there's no way his party is going to get rid of him.

Meanwhile, Gezi Park is filled with thousands of people, the vast majority of whom are youngish and college-aged. They spent last weekend getting their heads cracked by the cops on the eve of their final exams. From next week onwards they'll be on summer break, and from all indications are having the time of their lives in Gezi Park right now. They're hanging out in the park sleeping in tents, listening to Turku music concerts, feeling virtuously revolutionary, and basically having a blast, for the most part, as far as I can tell. I don't see them going back home to Mom and Dad anytime soon.

So what happens after Erdogan comes back?

It's a difficult question. The next (municipal) elections don't have to be held for another ten months or so. It's hard to imagine Erdogan tolerating what he probably considers a group of degenerate hippies to be occupying Gezi Park throughout the summer. And, immediately outside of Gezi Park, Taksim Square is itself a mess, with all roads blocked off by burnt-out overturned cars and buses. Is this just going to continue from this point forward? I doubt it.
So where do you go from here? I have no idea how exactly this is supposed to end. With a prime minister who seems to be spoiling for a fight, and occupiers who seem to have no intention of going anywhere, Taksim Square appears destined to stay in the news.

But one day, someone is going to try to bring and end to things. And when that happens, it could be ugly.

For now, though, sleep is necessary. After several days of holding back, tonight was a time for old friends and fresh raki. If I have time tomorrow I'll post some more photos.


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