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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Protests Continue in Turkey: Care to Comment, President Obama?

As reported this morning by the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22924886):

"Protesters have clashed with Turkish police in Istanbul, after riot squads used tear gas and water cannon to eject demonstrators from Gezi Park.

The protesters quickly fled the park, but later erected barricades across nearby streets and lit bonfires.

Witnesses said it was one of the worst nights of unrest since the park was occupied 18 days ago.

. . . .

Clashes continued into Sunday morning in the streets around [Taksim] square, eyewitnesses say.

. . . .

Thousands of people also took to the streets of the capital, Ankara, to express support for the protests.

The Confederation of Public Workers' Unions (KESK) also said it would call a nationwide strike on Monday, while another union grouping is deciding whether to join the action.

Medical officials estimate that 5,000 people have been injured and at least four killed since protests began in earnest on 31 May."

You will recall that when interviewed by his friend Fareed Zakaria in 2012, Obama listed Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan as one of his best international friends (http://swampland.time.com/2012/01/19/inside-obamas-world-the-president-talks-to-time-about-the-changing-nature-of-american-power/):

"I think that if you ask them, Angela Merkel or Prime Minister Singh or President Lee or Prime Minister Erdogan or David Cameron would say, We have a lot of trust and confidence in the President. We believe what he says. We believe that he’ll follow through on his commitments. We think he’s paying attention to our concerns and our interests. And that’s part of the reason we’ve been able to forge these close working relationships and gotten a whole bunch of stuff done."

Yup, Mr. President, you've "gotten a whole bunch of stuff done" with Erdogan. I suppose that's why Turkey today leads the world in arresting journalists (see: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/02/2013217124044793870.html).

3 comments:

  1. Obama certainly learned a "whole bunch of stuff" from Erdogan on how to neuter the US military.
    Not that anyone is keeping track of all the 'retirements' since Generals McChrystal, Petraeus, and Carter Ham.

    The BBC is doing a good job reporting on the demonstrations and disproportionate police response in Turkey. I wonder if the BBC will comment on all those security walls in Belfast as reported by the AP.

    K2K

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  2. And we must remind ourselves that Obama thinks he ranks as one of four most effective US presidents when it comes to foreign policy. Interesting to note that when it came to the Iranian "green revolution" he breathed not a word. And the same now with the Turkish situation. Yet he stood tall and proud in Egypt to bleat democracy in the presence of the USA's longest-standing arab ally, triggering the fall of Mubarak.

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  3. This what you get when you elect a "Hope, unity, change" charlatan.
    In the past, I watched another famous politician - Lech Walesa, less formally educated than Obama, but similarly skilled politician. He didn't know much, but was able to give sensible (if empty, totally empty and evasive) answers to questions.
    He continued the same quality of answers when he became President and journalists finally got angry.
    They insisted that they were sick and tired of cuteness of "diplomatic" answers and needed facts and facts only.
    Sadly, nobody in America is capable of telling Obama that its time to leave "cuteness" to his daughters.
    Ah, my comparison is of course unfair to Walesa. Unlike American smiling demagogue, Walesa actually took personal risks, played an important historical role and behaved with dignity when the circumstances required. His Nobel was deserved, unlike ...

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