There's no question the Taksim Square/Occupy Gezi/Down with the Dictator movement is quickly expanding to a cross-section of secular Turkey totally opposed to the AKP and Erdogan's highly personalized/autocratic mix of hardcore neoliberalism and conservative religion.
Secular Turks also clearly see how Erdogan is trying to milk all he can from a hazy "peace process" with the Kurdish PKK so he can amass enough votes for a constitutional referendum. The referendum would erase the parliamentary system and install a presidential system -- very handy as Erdogan's term as prime minister expires in 2015, and he yearns to remain in the helm as president.
Erdogan may have a solid majority across conservative Anatolia. But he may also be playing with fire. This is a man who over two years ago was yelling, "Mubarak must listen to his people" -- and so should Assad in Syria. Now the majority of Turks totally reject Ankara's "logistical support" for the "rebel" Syrian gangs.
The irony cherry in the cake is Damascus, now gleefully warning Erdogan to curb the violent repression, listen to "his people," or resign.
What next? Erdogan installs a no-fly zone over Istanbul (or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization installs a no-fly zone over Erdogan)? The Turkish "rebels" receive direct support from Damascus, Tehran and Hezbollah? Damascus calls for a "Friends of Turkey" international get-together?
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Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)
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