Prayers in the park
“The prime minister does not need a show of power,”
Mass protests against the Turkish government are continuing as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan returns from an overseas trip.
There are many parallels between Taksim Square and Tahrir Square but this is no Turkish spring.
Turkey has already had its spring. The military has been pushed back, authoritarianism replaced with democracy and the economy has grown for the past decade. So what's the problem? The short answer is an excessively heavy-handed police response and "the grumpy uncle", the term that many Turks use to describe the acid-tongued Prime Minister, Tayep Erdogan
The economic history of the Republic of Turkey has distinct sections which can be classified between World War I to end of World War II, post 1950, reforms under Özal and early 1990s. However one distinct characteristic between 1923–1985, in large part as a result of government policies, a backward economy developed into a complex economic system producing a wide range of agricultural, industrial, and service products for both domestic and export markets the economy grew at an average an- nual rate of six percent.
Mr Erdogan has completed a three-day tour of North Africa as demonstrators turned out in Ankara and other cities, many calling for him to quit. The demonstrations spread after police cracked down on protests over the redevelopment of an Istanbul park.
Demonstrators have been rallying in Istanbul, Ankara and other cities for a week, with many calling for the three-term prime minister to quit. The protests mushroomed after police cracked down on activists defending an Istanbul park from developers.
Mr Erdogan has called the protests undemocratic but his deputy apologized for police violence and met representatives of the protesters from Istanbul's Taksim Square.
It appears to be the first clash between rival groups since the unrest began.
Before leaving for his tour of North Africa on Monday, Mr Erdogan had predicted the protests would be over by the time he returned.
The deputy leader of Mr Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP), Huseyin Celik, went on TV to urge supporters not to flock to the airport to wel- come Mr Erdogan back.
"The prime minister does not need a show of power," he said.
Protest representatives who met Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc on Wednesday presented demand which included the dismissal of police chiefs, a ban on the use of tear gas, the release of detained protesters, the sacking of Istanbul's governor, and the scrapping of the plans for the redevelopment of Gezi Park.
The government wants to pedestrianize and ease traffic around Taksim Square; Kalyon Group, a company which has close ties with the government, has been contracted to carry out the project
The project also includes building a shopping centre which PM Erdogan says would not be "a traditional mall", but rather would include cultural centers, an opera house and a mosque. The plan also includes rebuilding an Ottoman-era military barracks near the site and demolishing the historic Ataturk Cultural Centre
Some see this as having historic symbolism, as the barracks were the cradle of a pro-Islamic, proOttoman mutiny.
Youths protest in Taksim Square in Turkey.