“During the Gezi Protests, the issue went beyond the defense of the park and turned into a social rebellion throughout the country. Today the protests that began with the Boğaziçi University might turn into a similar rebellion,” writes Zafer Yörük for Yeni Yaşam.
These days we are seeing mixed messages from the ruling power and opposition groups.
What the ruling power is saying is obvious: insults, threats, and accusations.
However, why did the opposition group CHP’s spokesperson Faik Öztrak not criticize the provocations regarding the incident with the LGBT flag and the Kaaba but instead supported them is an issue of criticism.
CHP leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s call for sobriety was also among the issues that were criticised.
We can say that there are two groups regarding the position of the CHP opposition in Turkey.
The first approach makes the analogy of the Gezi Protests which happened in 2013. During the Gezi Protests, the issue went beyond the defense of the park and turned into a social rebellion throughout the country. Today the protests that began with the Boğaziçi University might turn into a similar rebellion.
The second approach within the opposition group is as follows: They claim that since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is aware of the fact that they can not be elected again, it is trying to continue to stay in power through creating conflicts. Appointing a trustee to Boğaziçi University is a provocation and all the violence used against the protesters might be also provocations. Snipers, armed cops, tear gas, street beating, house raids… The homophobic words by the interior minister, Devlet Bahçeli’s description of the students as a snake whose head should be crushed, and president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s insults targeting the students and especially a female professor. It could be analysed that the power is playing the role of agent-provocateur.
According to this approach, the power aims at a bigger conspiracy. They will suppress everything with greater violence after creating a kind of controlled rebellion. By doing that, they will be able to prove that they are able to survive once again.
Both of these approaches are worthy and deserve attention. But there is also one point that has to be taken into account. In the United States (US), the Democrats being elected again, the protests continuing in Turkey and Russia, the protest against the military coup in Myanmar which happened for this first time within the history of the country, these all have to be analysed too.
These could be thought of as the signs of a global protest wave that is likely to sweep around the world, starting again especially in Hong Kong and Lebanon soon.
Joe Biden administration’s being elected can be compared with Gorbachev’s arrival in the Soviet Union in 1985. When Gorbachev came to power in 1985, he was aiming at some reforms for the economic crisis of his country. But the cross-border effects of these reforms were beyond his aims.
The Soviet military junta, which seized power in Poland to suppress the independent trade union movement Solidarity in 1981, declared an amnesty for political prisoners in 1986. The Hungarian Communist Party dissolved itself in 1989 and decided to make multi-party elections. When Gorbachev made a diplomatic visit to East Berlin in October 1989, hundreds of thousands of East Germans occupied the streets and squares throughout the country. Soon the Berlin Wall fell. Czechoslovakia and Romania were also affected in the same wave and the Eastern Bloc became history. Soon, the state of the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991.
One can disagree with an analogy by claiming that Biden is a classical politician that represents the Democrats in the US. But we should also consider that the Biden administration has been elected during a period that ‘Black Lives Matters’ protests were spreading along the US. Trump was representing the sexist, homophobic, authoritarian, and nationalist people.
Biden could be an ordinary reformist that aims to save the US from the effects of coronavirus and the Trump era. But his effects could be beyond that. The global effects of this change of power are likely to be far beyond the limited program of the president Biden: the Navalny rebellion in Russia and the ‘trustee resistance’ at Boğaziçi University may only be the first sparks of that.