More From Alder's Ledge

June 5, 2013

The Youth Of A Nation

Standing Toe-to-Toe With Fascism
(Uprising series)

~Hell To Pay

A fascist state is defined by how it treats its law abiding citizens. It is characterized by how it responds to dissenters and the voice of opposition. When a state resorts to brute force when met with peaceful resistance it crosses the line into fascism. When a state lines the streets with military like police battalions it defies the nature of a free society. Turkey is a fascist state.

For the past few days the world has been given a front row seat to a dog fight. The youth of Turkey have come out of the wood work to oppose the savage behavior of a cannibalistic regime. Pushed too far, the citizens of Istanbul have united under pressure that was meant to break them. Together they act as one. These are the youth of a nation that has grown tired of surrendering freedoms for promised security. These are Turkey's future that was are watching being beat down by a power drunk madman.

~The Spark

What began as a sit-in style demonstration to save a landmark park (Gezi Park) is now a firestorm that has spread across Turkey. Yet despite it's beginning and the reason for the fight is far from a park now. This battle is about the decade long dictorial rule of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has eroded individual liberties and the overall human rights of Turkish citizens. The continued march of Erdogan's regime toward an authoritarian state has left Turkish society unstable for years now. Gezi Park was just the spark that lit Turkey's youth ablaze.

The first rule of dictatorships is that you reward the indolent nature of the oppressed. You give them things like parks and the facade of liberty. If you wish to stay in power for decades on end you placate the underclass till they can't think for themselves. Erdogan simply wanted to steamroll the country as he forced his agenda upon the masses. For a decade the pompous tyrant has manipulated the media in Turkey and bullied his way through politics. Thus Erdogan was the one who lit the spark in the first place.

~The Fight

Only a few days old, Turkish police have turned peaceful protest into rolling battles that leave city streets reminiscent of the war zones just over the border in Syria. Unarmed civilians wrap cloth around their faces so as to keep the gas out of their lungs as they run for cover. Cops wielding riot gear form a phalanx before charging their prey as the rear guard lights up the street with water cannons and tear gas. The term "police brutality" seems mild when one looks at how Erdogan's dogs take the fight.

Holding signs and covering their eyes, the protesters wait to be gassed as they attempt to stand toe-to-toe with fascists. Is this what democracy looks like? Does one expect their government to sick the dogs on them when they oppose the regime's dictates? Should we bow our heads these gods on earth that rule our countries? Why should Turkish citizens be expected to remain calms as their master unleashes the hounds that lick their lips in anticipation?

~The Brave Ones

"Millions of Turkish citizens have been outraged by the violent reaction of their government to a peaceful protest aimed at saving Istanbul's Gezi Park.

Outraged, yet not surprised.

Over the course of Prime Minister Erdogan's 10-year term, we have witnessed a steady erosion of our rights and freedoms. Arrests of numerous journalists, artists, and even elected officials; restrictions on freedom of speech, women's rights, and even alcohol sales have all demonstrated that the ruling party is not serious about democracy. Time and again, the prime minister has mocked and trivialized his nation's concerns while Turkey's own media has remained shamefully silent.

The people protesting bravely throughout Turkey are the proud inheritors of Atatürk's legacy. We are not looters or extremists. We are students, teachers, workers, mothers, fathers. We represent various ethnicities and creeds, religions and ideologies. We stand united now because of our concern for Turkey's future.

We demand an end to police brutality.

We demand a free and unbiased media.

We demand an open dialogue, not the dictate of an autocrat.

We hope that you will join the conversation and stand with us in solidarity."
~ as reported on The Guardian

The people who have come out to fight back against the rule of an arrogant authoritarian aren't revolutionaries in the traditional sense. In their words, they demand to be heard without being met with police batons and tear gas canisters. The desire for freedom isn't revolutionary. The desire to be free to voice an opinion without the fear of violence isn't revolutionary. It is the natural state of man. For we are all born with the deep seeded desire for freedom. And once we have tasted even a little of it, we cannot settle for only a portion of it.

So why should the citizens of Turkey be expected to shut up and go home? Are they supposed to accept limitations to the freedoms they seek? Should they be willing to swallow the dictates of autocrats?

~Undemocratic Democracy

"Mr Erdogan says the protesters are undemocratic and have been provoked by the opposition Republican People's Party." ~ as reported by BBC News

The protest will only end when Erdogan decides he wants to start abiding by the nature of a true democracy. He must back away from the role of a dictator and reclaim his position as the prime minister of Turkey. If the people who have come out to oppose his overreaches are to continue to face violent repression then the fight will continue. Turkey cannot survive as it was if leaders like this one seek to alienate opposing political views and stifle the basic right to free speech. It is in this manner that Erdogan has created an undemocratic democracy for his own self serving purposes. 

As long as freedom is repressed the hunger for it will only continue to grow. With the advent of social media and an ever increasingly connected world, Turkey can no longer isolate it's citizens. Small samples of liberty will leak into even the most isolated societies. Like bread crumbs, these peaks at what true freedom has to offer only increase the desire for it. 

When a society reaches the breaking point... when it can no longer bear the weight of an outdated political system... even a park can become the first shot of a long and violent struggle. 

Source Documents
(Note: not all sources listed)

BBC News

The Guardian

Huffington Post

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