Turkish EU minister: protesters will be treated as terrorists

Turkish police used extreme force to eject the protesters from Taksim Square yesterday. Egemen Bağış, Turkey's representative in the EU, gave a televised address in which he said, "[The police] will intervene against anybody who tries to enter Taksim Square, [treating them] as a terrorist."

Everyone who enters Taksim Square will be treated as a terrorist: Turkish EU Minister

(via Reddit)

(Image: "People crossing Bosphprous Bridge (normally closed to pedesterians) headed for Taksim square" Ve halk kopruyu gecti/ @marjinal_hatun)


  1. What the hell is wrong with that government? 
    I mean, we’ve had cretins in government but they’ve never called for protesters to be considered terrorists (well, not in the last 20 years, at least).

    1. Yes, because it’s only that government that treats protesters like they are criminals and terrorists. Never happens in countries like Canada and the USA. Oh wait… it already has.

      1. I wouldn’t know about the US and Canada. I was speaking from the point of view of a Romanian that usually thinks you can’t get authorities any worse and still be called a “civilized” country.

      2. You know, it is very obvious that everybody who comments here must be North American (minus Mexico) or Western European…

    2. We certainly have. Try “eco-terrorist” and you’re suddenly including lots of nonviolent portesters back in the Bush years.

      1. If you’re referring to the 20 years bit, it’s merely a necessary caveat for a country in Eastern Europe. Before 1990, this stuff was pretty common, though they called them “enemies of  the People” not terrorists.

  2. Well then, lets note the time, it will be interesting to see how long it takes a government to fall when it calls all it citizens enemies of the state.

    1. If you think the protestors include “all citizens” of Turkey, you’re sorely mistaken. The protestors might represent the most educated, most secular, most nationalist or most active element of Turkish society, but the rural and traditionalist movements that kept Erdogan in power for 10 years are not going to quietly bow out; in fact, there’s a big chance that they’ll actually prevail, passing further constitutional amendments to make Turkey more of a theocracy than it currently is.

      1. Because staying indoors and passing more laws to reinforce a crumbling status-quo will change everything.

        1. I’ve never said that people should not fight for their rights; I’m just wary of simplistic interpretations about the inevitability of democratic revolution. Lybia and Syria should have taught us that revolution is a messy affair. —
          Giacomo Lacava

          1. Libya and Syria are non democratic states with no real tradition of secular leadership or freedom of conscience.

            Turkey may not be utopian, but the comparison to those two states is base and misleading at worst, badly misinformed at best.

          2. The revolution, as an act, is quite a different thing from the structures it precedes as well as the ones it will generate. It’s essentially a military act first and foremost, and expression of violent power: it has to prove that the structures that previously controlled society as a whole, and in particular the ones dealing with organised violence (police, army etc), have now lost that control, which is now in the hands of revolutionaries. This process can be completely peaceful, but it’s still necessary. In this sort of process, things can change quite dramatically very quickly. See also: Iran, Egypt, Eltsin’s Russia — countries with advanced political traditions and secular leadership, which basically went to the dogs while trying to improve their condition through revolutions.

          3. Toyg. Your rhetoric is shifting quickly, and is ahead of the reality on the ground. The foundational principles and celebrated traditions of each nation you have mentioned is the opposite of those of Turkey.

            Again, turkey is no utopia, but it’s also not a state with a military dominated by one class or religion. It’s not a 19th century state. It’s not a fundamentalist state. It’s not a totalitarian state closed off from the world.

            I think you may be spreading FUD.

  3. don’t they just shoot terrorists ? they could ALL have explosive vests on them, right ? oh well time for some : Tianamen 2 : electric boogaloo

  4. This is only part of what the ruling party has in store for protesters.  They are apparently due to receive some additional American-style punishment.  At least we don’t have RICO statutes here. 

    Remember those volunteer doctors?  We were told Friday that the Health Ministry Audit section has submitted a set of questions to the Chamber of Medicines Administration demanding the names of doctors who volunteered and the names of those treated.  The implication is that the doctors acted illegally (in an unsanctioned health clinic treating illegal protesters) and that their licenses may be in question.  http://bianet.org/english/health/147588-voluntary-doctors-face-investigation   So far, the Chamber has refused to cooperate.
    I would note too that there has been a somewhat intimidating discussion going on regarding how workers who were arrested at a protest could easily be fired by their employers http://www.todayszaman.com/news-318384-attending-protests-may-have-complications-for-employees.html   I have not seen or heard anything from friends in the Tax Department regarding targeted audits, but won’t be surprised if/when I do.

  5. What a bizarre statement: if you peacefully protest after today, we will have to regard you as someone who uses violence on civilians to create a climate of instability and fear for political purposes…..oh. 

    The old Orwellian reversal: we accuse and define our opponents as terrorists as a way of suggesting that we must necessarily *not* be terrorists, since we are in opposition to them. The last thing anyone will notice is a government is actually behaving like terrorists. Orwell playbook, Pg.5

  6. The word has lost all meaning through constant abuse. “Terrorist” is the new “Communist”. People in the future will look back and marvel that even a single citizen of these governments was gullible and cowardly enough to actually support this rampant corruption.

  7. So isn’t that proposed mall a lost cause at this point? What sane retailer would rent a storefront with a giant lightning rod like that? Seems the smart thing to do would be to throw the protestors a bone to defuse more serious unrest.

    1. What will be built in place of the park is not important, at this point; if he wins the standoff, Erdogan might as well build a mosque on it (with public money, of course).

      Touching on your reference to the EU: it’s important to understand that the Turkish regime, for all intents and purposes, has (with all probability) already given up on EU membership. In fact, many of those who’d love to join the EU, are now protesting in the park; the few of them who initially saw Erdogan as an acceptable anti-military candidate to normalise the country (which was basically ruled by a junta until then) have seen the error of their ways a few years ago. EU membership was also useful to Erdogan inasmuch as it attracted support from economic elites; these elites have now figured out that full membership will never happen, but it’s fine as long as preferential trade agreements are kept in place; in fact, it will save them a lot of hassle with all that crap about workers’ rights, and it will keep quiet all those islamist hotheads by leaving Erdogan free to represent them. And let’s not even talk about the Euro and Greece… 

      EU membership is not a usable carrot anymore, when dealing with Turkey; the sole mention is actually likely to attract resentment. This is a big problem for NATO, and it’s even bigger for the secular middle-class that is now rioting in Gezi Park.

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