Category Archives: Democracy

Ukraine pro-EU protests | In pictures

Although the protests in the Ukraine are in support of joining the European Union they can actually be largely attributed to being in support of democracy with a defiant NO to Russian behind closed doors dictating.

Ukraine pro EU protests 4 Ukraine pro EU protests 3 Ukraine pro EU protests 2 Ukraine pro EU protests

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Sixth night of rioting in Antakya, Turkey

A look through Turkish newspaper Hurriyet today will find nothing of the ongoing rioting in Antakya and to a lesser extent Istanbul despite now going into the sixth day.

Courtesy of jn1:

Solidarity with those trying to oust Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the fascist AKP regime.

Good luck, you’re going to need it but don’t give up!

Bulgarian anti-corruption protests

By Leon J Williams

Bulgaria protests - 22 June 2013

Bulgaria protests – 22 June 2013

Bulgaria’s Socialist led minority government voted to make media tycoon Delyan Peevski the National Security Chief.

Delyan Peevski is a member of the Turkish minority party the ‘Movement for Rights and Freedoms’ (DPS/ДПС).

The move to appoint Peevski on the 14th June has caused outrage among the Bulgarian public who see it as yet another sign of the rampant corruption that engulfs Bulgaria.

The appointment was cancelled 5 days later (19th June) as the Socialist led coalition says it is listening to the people however the protests are now in to their 10th day with no end in sight.

It’s hard to get reliable figures on how many have attended the protests so far with some figures around 10,000. As you can see from the photo, the protesters go on for as far as the eye can see.

Some have suggested that because the protests have remained peaceful the worlds media has been silent in its lack of coverage.

“I was seven when my parents took me to rallies for democracy when communism fell (in 1989),” said another, Kamelia Mitova, 31. “It’s unbelievable that I am here now for the same reasons.”

Are the tables starting to turn? | A view from around the world

By Leon J Williams

Brazil protestsA look at the news from around the world shows a clear sign, the people have had enough!

The people are fed up of having their lives dictated to them, being told who they can have sex with, who they can marry, if they can drink alcohol, where they taxes will be spent. The people are fed up of being beaten for expressing their right to free speech.

Enough is enough.

Turkey

The situation in Turkey continues as the anti-government protests evolve into the ‘Standing Man’ civil disobedience. The Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seeming losing the plot with his delusional public rants. Germany has started to stand in the way of Turkey’s EU bid because of the heavy handed police abuse much to Tayyip’s annoyance. Like any dictatorship there is heavy control and regulation of the media with more crackdowns on social media to come.

Greece

Greece’s already fragile coalition government has taken a blow as the Democratic Left Party pulls out over the closure of the national broadcaster ERT. The shock sudden closure caused protests from both the left and the right wing.

Brazil

Over a million people (possibly 2 million) took to the streets in cities all over Brazil after transport fares increased dramatically. The people are angry at widespread corruption and the cost of the upcoming football world cup. No money to keep transport costs down but plenty of money for football stadiums.
Such is the scale of the protests that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is holding an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the country’s most widespread unrest in two decades.

“Tayyip, resign”

Police raid on Istanbul park triggers night of rioting

By Ayla Jean Yackley and Seda Sezer

ISTANBUL | Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:57am EDT

Protesters occupy Bosphorous Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey

Protesters occupy Bosphorous Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey

(Reuters) – Thousands of people took to the streets of Istanbul overnight on Sunday, erecting barricades and starting bonfires, after riot police firing teargas and water cannon stormed a park at the center of two weeks of anti-government unrest.

Lines of police backed by armored vehicles sealed off Taksim Square in the center of the city as officers raided the adjoining Gezi Park late on Saturday, where protesters had been camped in a ramshackle settlement of tents.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan had warned hours earlier that security forces would clear the square, the center of more than two weeks of fierce anti-government protests that spread to cities across the country, unless the demonstrators withdrew before a ruling party rally in Istanbul on Sunday.

“We have our Istanbul rally tomorrow. I say it clearly: Taksim Square must be evacuated, otherwise this country’s security forces know how to evacuate it,” he told tens of thousands of flag-waving supporters at a rally in Ankara.

Protesters took to the streets in several neighborhoods across Istanbul following the raid on Gezi Park, ripping up metal fences, paving stones and advertising hoardings to build barricades and lighting bonfires of trash in the streets.

Some chanted, “Tayyip, resign.”

Local television footage showed groups of demonstrators blocking a main highway to Ataturk airport on the western edge of the city, while to the east, several hundred walked towards a main bridge crossing the Bosphorus waterway towards Taksim.

Thousands more rallied in the working-class Gazi neighborhood, which saw heavy clashes with police in the 1990s, while protesters also gathered in Ankara around the central Kugulu Park, including opposition MPs who sat in the streets in an effort to prevent the police from firing teargas.

A main public-sector union confederation, KESK, which has some 240,000 members, said it would call a national strike for Monday, while a second union grouping said it was holding an emergency meeting to decide whether to join the action.

“One million people to Taksim” – a call for more anti-government demonstrations later on Sunday – was a top-trending hashtag on Twitter.

“The police brutality aims at clearing the streets of Istanbul to make way for Erdogan’s meeting tomorrow,” said Oguz Kaan Salici, Istanbul president of the main opposition People’s Republican Party.

“Yet it will backfire. People feel betrayed.”

CLOUDS OF TEARGAS

A similar police crackdown on peaceful campaigners in Gezi Park two weeks ago provoked an unprecedented wave of protest against Erdogan, drawing in secularists, nationalists, professionals, trade unionists and students who took to the streets in protest at what they see as his autocratic style.

The unrest, in which police fired teargas and water cannon at stone-throwing protesters night after night in cities including Istanbul and Ankara, left four people dead and about 5,000 injured, according to the Turkish Medical Association.

Panicked protesters fled into an upscale hotel at the back of Gezi Park during Saturday night’s raid, several of them vomiting, as clouds of teargas and blasts from percussion bombs – designed to create confusion rather than injure – engulfed the park.

“We tried to flee and the police pursued us. It was like war,” Claudia Roth, co-chair of Germany’s Greens party, who had gone to Gezi Park to show her support, told Reuters.

The Gezi Park protesters, who oppose government plans to build a replica Ottoman-era barracks there, had defied repeated calls to leave but had started to reduce their presence in the park after meetings with Erdogan and the local authorities.

“This is unbelievable. They had already taken out political banners and were reducing to a symbolic presence in the park,” Koray Caliskan, a political scientist at Bosphorus University, told Reuters from the edge of Gezi Park.

ERDOGAN DEFIANT

Erdogan told protesters on Thursday that he would put the Gezi Park plans on hold until a court rules on them. It was a softer stance after two weeks in which he called protesters “riff-raff” and said the plans would go ahead regardless.

But at the first of two rallies this weekend by his ruling AK Party, he reverted to a defiant tone, telling supporters on the outskirts of Ankara that he would crush his opponents in elections next year.

The police intervention so soon after Erdogan spoke took many by surprise on a busy Saturday night around Taksim, one of Istanbul’s main social hubs, not least after President Abdullah Gul, who has struck a more conciliatory tone than Erdogan, said earlier on Saturday that talks were progressing well.

Erdogan has long been Turkey’s most popular politician, his AK Party winning three successive election victories, each time with a larger share of the vote, but his critics complain of increasing authoritarianism.

He has said the AK Party rallies in Ankara and Istanbul are meant to kick off campaigning for local elections next year and are not related to the protests, but they are widely seen as a show of strength in the face of the demonstrations.

(Additional reporting by Daren Butler, Can Sezer, Asli Kandemir, Evrim Ergin in Istanbul, Jonathon Burch and Humeyra Pamuk in Ankara; Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Turkey’s EU accession bid

The fight for secularism and democracy goes on!

Leon J. Williams

Turkey EU flagTurkish newspaper, Hurriyet’s ‘Daily News’, has an article on Turkey’s European Union (EU) accession bid featuring comments from former British foreign secretary Jack Straw (labour) and Turkey’s Under-secretary of the Ministry of EU Affairs Haluk Ilıcak.

The article title is a bit misleading, as is to be expected from today’s ‘journalism’. The article implies that Turkey isn’t that interested in the EU accession bid but just wants to raise Turkey to the same level of European standards but Haluk Ilıcak says “Our aim is to achieve a smooth accession process” (to the EU).

‘Once Turkey succeeds in completing the chapters and improving itself to reach European standards, the actual accession is not that important, and could be debated’

When Turkey completes the chapters and reaches European standards?? Sounds like someone is living in a fantasy land…
Turkey, at its current rate of ‘progress’ will NEVER reach European standards, if you…

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