Forum Thread

Turkish Protests Continue Unabated

Reply to ThreadDisplaying 10 Posts
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Turkish protests are continuing into a second day, with little sign of quieting anytime soon. Protesters are furious about the Turkish governments decision to go ahead with replacing Taksim Square, a park in central Istambul, with a replica Ottoman-era army barracks that would have a shopping mall built within it.

    The protests in one of the worlds most strategically important cities have the capability of effecting things far outside of their own borders. Turkey has been actively involved in the Syrian uprising, housing 377,154 Syrians in refugee camps and also supporting Syrian rebels in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad. The new internal problems are almost certainly not a welcome development for the government.

    Thoughts on the powder keg that is Turkey and what it may mean not just locally, but regionally?
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    jaredsxtn Wrote: Turkish protests are continuing into a second day, with little sign of quieting anytime soon. Protesters are furious about the Turkish governments decision to go ahead with replacing Taksim Square, a park in central Istambul, with a replica Ottoman-era army barracks that would have a shopping mall built within it.

    The protests in one of the worlds most strategically important cities have the capability of effecting things far outside of their own borders. Turkey has been actively involved in the Syrian uprising, housing 377,154 Syrians in refugee camps and also supporting Syrian rebels in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad. The new internal problems are almost certainly not a welcome development for the government.

    Thoughts on the powder keg that is Turkey and what it may mean not just locally, but regionally?
    This whole area is a powder keg for sure; the only thing the US should do; is to stay out of it. There are way too many factions and groups in this area, including Israel/Palestine/Lebanon/Jordan etc. which could ignite more fires. The visit of Mc.Cain was reported, but I've not heard what he did there or what his comments will be once he's back here.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    jared I agree with Dutch that the whole region is a powder keg but then again the whole region has been a powder keg for how long... years? Decades Centuries? Let's just agree that it is usually pretty unstable in that part of the world.

    I was watching Fareed Z on CNN today and one of his guests said that Syria was in danger of becoming another Somalia and I think he was correct. The tide of the civil war in Syria seem to have shifted a little in favor of Assad and I'm afraid that the west thinks that they will now feel the need to get more involved. Iraq revisited? I think and hope that President Obama is too smart to get us into THAT kind of mess again. But some more involvement by the US would not surprise me.

    Even when Syria was completely under the control of Assad it was a fairly stable country, with lots of problems and abuses, yes, but relatively stable. How many people of Syria would like to have those days back? Probably lots of them. The ones that are still alive, I mean.

    Just think of another Somalia, which is almost completely lawless and a breeding ground for terrorists. We don't need more Somalias.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    As much as I agree with both of you on a personal level and want the United States to stay out of all of the upheaval in the greater middle east, I just don't see it happening. We are so intertwined in that region that the President has found himself in a box. I definitely believe that President Obama doesn't want to touch this with a ten foot pole, but sometimes events on the ground spiral out of control in a way that will force him to act whether he wants to or not.

    We must remind ourselves that the middle east is much different than the forgotten continent of Africa. The strategic stability of this region is a top national security concern for our government, as much as I'd like it to be other wise. When you look at the number of US and allied military installations in the middle and near east, it just seems a near impossibility for us to stay neutral in these conflicts.

    Fareed Zakaria is correct when he says that Syria is in danger of becoming another failed state. The tide of the civil war has definitely shifted, no doubt because of the help of Hezbollah and Russian arms, but that doesn't mean that those who started this insurgency are just going to roll over. They are still getting arms from friendly countries in the region and the European Union just lifted its embargo on the Syrian "rebels." Russia is just as deeply involved in this because the Syrian city of Tartus is home to their only naval base in the Middle East. They don't want to see that taken away from them from a likely far less friendly Sunni government that would replace President Assad.

    My guess is that violence will continue to go on for a long time and that Syria will eventually be broken up along religious lines, which will only encourage more violence. It's going to be a messy situation for many years to come.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    jared we agree about most of what you say. I'm afraid that you are right about the US getting more involved. I hope not too much, but fear you are correct.

    That Syria will be eventually be broken up along religious lines is something I have heard about Iraq for several years now. I'm kind of surprised that Iraq is still a country after their recent past. I'm surprised that MANY of the existing countries in that region of the world have survived.

    Northeast Africa IS the middle east. Are Libya and Egypt in Africa or in the Middle East? Answer: they are both.

    The only thing I would bet on in that region is that violence will continue long after you and I are gone.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    My daughter, who lives overseas, sent this to me. It's from her Turkish friend. It's worth reading. I won't paraphrase.

    June, 01, 2013: What is Happenning in Istanbul?
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    jamesn Wrote: jared we agree about most of what you say. I'm afraid that you are right about the US getting more involved. I hope not too much, but fear you are correct.

    That Syria will be eventually be broken up along religious lines is something I have heard about Iraq for several years now. I'm kind of surprised that Iraq is still a country after their recent past. I'm surprised that MANY of the existing countries in that region of the world have survived.

    Northeast Africa IS the middle east. Are Libya and Egypt in Africa or in the Middle East? Answer: they are both.

    The only thing I would bet on in that region is that violence will continue long after you and I are gone.
    I definitely understand that Libya and Egypt are both in Africa and the Middle East. I should have been more direct and said Sub-Saharan Africa. What I was trying to say is that our country is heavily invested in the Middle East region, but we turn a blind eye to the atrocities taking place all throughout the world on a daily basis. We are the world's police, but it seems that our empire only polices the regions that we have a direct interest in and have no problem leaving other regions to fend for themselves.

    Your point about Iraq is an important one, and one that I admit that had slipped from my mind as I was writing the previous post. I'm also very surprised that Iraq is still a country, as well. There was a lot of talk about them breaking up back in 2006-07 and it never did happen.

    And we definitely both agree that this region will continue to see instability for quite some time. I sure hope that the region sees some resemblance of peace before I pass away, but I will not be surprised whatsoever if it doesn't.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    jared I was not challenging your knowlege of world geography. My point was: So many Americans do not know or care about any geography other than North America and their favorite vacation destination and even that is dubious.

    Middle East: I didn't know where everything was until I went to that region of the world for the first time, and I still have to check the map sometimes.

    As to the ..."atrocities"... issue, well, the US, like many other countries, pay attention to the countries that can help them or have something they want. Other countries...not so much.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    I definitely didn't think that you were challenging me whatsoever, jamesn. It is sad how few in this country know what lies outside of its borders and how it directly affects us. If society spent one tenth of the amount of time looking at a map of the world and reading up on geopolitical history as they do watching The Bachelorette, we might have a much better society. Wishful thinking, I know.

    And your last statement is very true. We definitely turn a blind eye to those countries that can't "help" us either politically or economically. Unfortunately, "help" usually means paying their own citizens slave labor wages so we in America can get things for as cheap as possible.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    While the protests easily faded away from our memory in the past week, no one decided to tell the protesters in Turkey about it. The protests have been growing larger by the day and the government of Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan is resorting to the tried and true method of water cannons and tear gas to dispense the protesters. The Prime Minister does find himself between a rock and a hard place, but it seems like he has learned nothing from the recent protests sweeping the Middle East. He understandably wants to get things "back to normal" in this relatively stable state, but using water cannons on peaceful protesters will only exacerbate the problem.