Turkey's Government :Cheer Egypt's Demonstrations:Suppress Those At Home / Prof.B.Rubin

04 Feb 2011 04:37 PM PST

Labor unions marched to protest the reduction of workers’ rights in Ankara. The government declared the demonstration illegal, gassed demonstrators, and police attacked the demonstrators. Opposition members of parliament were among those injured.

This event came one day after the government spokesman said, of Egypt, that governments must listen to the people. Since 2007, the stealth-Islamist AKP government has banned anti-government protests and broken up those that attempted to demonstrate.

And here's Prime Minister Erdogan's "Marie Antoinette" moment the next day after another labor demonstration:

“They have no right to hold such a demonstration. The lowest-level civil servants of [northern Cyprus] receive a monthly salary of close to 10,000 Turkish Liras. My undersecretary gets roughly 5,000 liras. The gentlemen are protesting without shame.”



Turkish-language coverage







Not exactly...

I am a Turkish-American who stumbled on your web site. The facts you listed in the article are basically correct but some details were deliberately omitted to make things look much worse. You are talking about two separate incidents: One took place in Ankara-Turkey, the other one took place in Northern Cyprus which is not a part of Turkey. In the first event, you forgot to mention that the protesters wanted to demonstrate in front of the Turkish parliament and encircle the parliament by forming a human chain. The Turkish law forbids any demonstration within 1 km radius of the Turkish Parliament. My guess is that there may be similar laws about the U.S. Congress or the Knesset. The Ankara provincial governor didn't permit this venue for the demonstration, the demonstrators attacked the police with bottles and rocks. They wanted to break through the police barricade and approach the parliment. That's when the police used pressure water and pepper gas to stop the demonstrators. I think it is important to state these facts.

In the second incident, the prime minister of Turkey spoke out against some demonstrators in Northern Cyprus but he really has no jurisdiction over them since Northern Cyprus has its own separate government. The Prime Minister didn't attempt to ban the demonstration either. The demonstration took place. He was simply expressing his opinion about a demonstration that took place outside his jurisdiction. I think he has a right to free speech, don't you think?

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