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Understanding the riots in Turkey

03 June 2013, 11:30
What has sparked the violence in Turkey? Religion? A dictator? Fringe interest groups?

Heres the lowdown right now on whats happening:

Erdogan has been removing the separation of church and state, more obviously over the last 4 years or so. He has removed freedom of expression making it thought crime under the guise of "coup plots". He has been using taxpayers funds during fiscal implementations and economy slowdown, to build mosques (previously not legal due to the separation of church and state).
Finally a peaceful occupation of a park, has resulted in the police being sent in and killing the protestors. This has resulted in a political movement from dissents against what they call a "sultan" (dictator) which is currently in the midst of gaining traction.
Some of the demands include reversing (under the akp's laws):

Alcohol laws that have been made more stringent,
Reversal of removing philosophy/sociology from high schools (they were making room for Islamic studies),

Reversal of fines about Blasphemy on TV stations,

Reversal of tax-extortion by the government to take over news TV stations (Media is currently government controlled),
Reinstatement of freedom of speech and freedom of the press,

Demilitarization of the police and cessation of police violence against the public,

Release of 300+ military officials from prison on thought crimes and political views and false accusations of "coup plots" thought crimes (which is a freedom of expression),

Cessation of Mosque construction funding using taxpayer funds,

Reform of the first-past-the-post voting system and transparency in elections,

All minorities and religions, including agnostics and atheists, should be treated equally under the law.

As we watch now, currently the protests could swing both ways.

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