An excerpt from, "Erdogan: “We’ve Been PatientFor Too Long”" by Tulin Daloglu (Al-Monitor, June 9):
It was a shocking speech — as if Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had declared a war against a segment of his own people, although he often claims to represent 100% of the nation.An excerpt from, "Young Turks Use ‘Disproportionate Wit’ to Shake Up Erdogan" by Sibel Utku Bila (Al Monitor, June 9):
“We’ve been patient for far too long,” Erdogan said on Sunday, June 9, upon his arrival in Ankara's Esenboga international airport, addressing thousands who came to support his reaction to continuing protests against his politics. “I’m saying the same thing to all those – one bank, two banks or three banks, whoever is making up that [interest] lobby. As you started this confrontation, you will pay dearly. Those who without shame join efforts to crash the stock market; Tayyip Erdogan does not have money there, if it crashes, you will lose. The moment we catch you doing speculation [in an attempt to crash the stock market], we will strangle you.”
The scenes of violent police clampdowns on protesters in barricaded streets engulfed in clouds of tear gas are not unfamiliar to Turkey, which was plagued by deadly political unrest in the 1970s, and then the Kurdish conflict.Video Title: Occupy Gezi Istanbul Turkey - Beginning of the End of Crazed "Sultan" Dictator Erdogan (Source: YouTube Channel RashidaAbuTayeb)
What comes as a novelty on the political scene is a non-partisan, pacifist resistance armed with sharp-tongued satire — now the hallmark of the protest wave. It certainly comes as a baffling novelty for Erdogan, too, at a time when he has indulged in the comforts of a muzzled media and daily displays of fawning reverence.
In their own words, the protesters are using “disproportionate wit” against the government. In a matter of days, the movement has created a pop culture of its own, with the wittiest jokes going viral on social media and transforming instantly into banners, chants and songs in the streets.
It is Erdogan himself who provides much of the ammunition for the rampage of humor. When the protests first broke out, Erdogan played down the protesters as “çapulcu,” which means plunderer or hoodlum in Turkish. The demonstrators proudly embraced the word, Anglicized it and created a new one: “Chapulling,” which signifies dissent and resistance. It has now become the motto of the protests, inspired an anthem called “Everyday I’m Chapulling” and made its way to Wikipedia. Çapul TV has gone on air from Istanbul’s Gezi Park, the epicenter of the protests, occupied by a colorful tent encampment. Even Noam Chomsky has declared himself a “çapulcu” in a video message of support.
Video Title: Protesters clash in Turkey (Source: YouTube channel DailyTubeHD)
Video Title: Flames, tear gas in streets as rioters defy Turkey PM (Source: YouTube Channel AFP)