WASHINGTON — Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan plans to meet the disgruntled protesters and demonstrators tomorrow, announced Reuters.
Protesters have been occupying Gezi Park and protesting its planned demolition to make way for development. They allege that the increasingly Islamist government under Erdogan and his party are threatening the secular Turkish way of life.
Erdogan’s government had put into place bans on selling alcohol and the like, things that secular Turks say is a way of life and is a significant push from Islamist fundamentalists.
By demolishing the park, it threatens decades of history of protests in the area and the secular opposition fears it will eventually be overrun by the Islamist-leaning government and its supporters. Erdogan had left for a brief trip abroad and returned as soon as he could to a crowd of supporters at the airport. This, however, left some skeptical about his support.
Erdogan’s support is tepid abroad and at home for the time being, as images of water cannons and police brutality have hit the international news cycle on almost a daily basis.
And, the police has tried to brutally force out protesters from Taksim Square, which is part of the heart of the protests and Erdogan continues to be defiant in news broadcasts. Now the Turkish markets are unsettled and nervous, and could force the country’s central bank to step in to save the economy for the time being.