The BBC’s correspondent James Reynolds related that the protests reflect the public’s anger with the Turkish authoritarian government. People can’t accept again conservative islamic values to be imposed in their life. Fact is the last week the government adopted new legislation curbing the sale and advertising of alcoholic drinks.
Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, perceived as a dictator, says the protests are undemocratic. On the public TV he presented his actions as correct because he is “a servant of the people”. He criticised “for lying” social media, including Twitter.
Turkey is constitutionally a secular state.
On October 2012, a public consultation process about political values was initiated by Turkey’s parliament. This was the moment when old wounds was opened, regarding the role of religion in politics and the increasingly conservative nature of public life.
The prime minister Erdogan and his party refused to continue the strict ban on religion from all public domains and its limitation to private life. He has been accused of having an islamist agenda.
The opposition claimed that Erdogan wants to reverse the concept of the individual, created by the republic, and turn citizens into subjects. This is redefining secularism and produced not only a vocal debate but the actual street protests too.
The protests united people with different motivations, political identity and religious beliefs. The Occupy Taksim protests turned into a political challenge to the AKP government. The protests showed that the popular voice shall still linger over the country authority.