Cyprus News | Turkey’s ‘Social Engineering’ Brings Confrontation

Cyprus News | Turkey's 'Social Engineering' Brings ConfrontationCyprus News | Turkey’s ‘Social Engineering’ Brings Confrontation

There can be no doubt that events in Turkey reveal yet another government trying to impose its will upon the electorate. Somehow a small group of people once voted into power believe they have the right to enact unpopular legislation no matter what the consequences. There are so many examples in the past of what happens when parliaments do this. In the UK we had the Poll Tax Riots and more recently, and perhaps more relevantly, we’ve had the Arab Spring which brought so many deaths but eventually major changes.

Now we have the riots in Istanbul which, after the oppressive police reaction, have become a focus for a lot more than the preventing of the turning of one of the few remaining parks in Istanbul into a shopping mall. The police effort to clear protesters appeared to have backfired on Friday, bringing condemnation from rights groups and the European Union and prompting smaller protests in the capital Ankara as well as in Izmir, Eskisehir, Bodrum, Edirne, Izmit, Adana and even Konya the government’s political stronghold.

Whereas the Arab Spring was about toppling governments, the protests in Turkey are about changing a method of rule, and of trying to stop social engineering, as many are calling it. “They can do what they want. We’ve made our decision and we will do as we have decided,” Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan said, reinforcing the reason the protests have started. It as if he believes a higher power gives him the right to impose his beliefs unilaterally.

Around the country, the government’s reaction had the opposite effect, swelling the number of protesters rather than dispelling them. By4am local time, 5,000 people were reportedly assembled in Eskişehir and already several injuries had resulted at the hands of the police. So far, if there have been fatalities they have not been reported but when inevitably one occurs this may be a turning point. Even if the government suspended the Istanbul project, it cannot be sure that the protest will stop and the longer it continues the more likely it will gain an unstoppable momentum.

How the Turkish government behaves will possibly have a significant affect on North Cyprus, and with the possibility that it will impose its will here, the outcome of the protests may give a hint of our future. The upcoming elections here could be seen as a vote for either Turkey or for Turkish Cypriots. It could also be a vote for social engineering or freedom of expression. That’s why we’re watching what happens in Turkey.

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