The mass protest movement that has flooded through Turkish society, over the last few weeks, is of great importance to the future of international politics, not least because President Erdogan’s reaction has been so ham-fisted and unacceptable. As the head of government of a NATO allied nation with a constitutional mandate for secular government, Erdogan, leader of a religious party, has always had to walk a fine line; the protest movement has shown how superficial some of his moderate language may have been.
With what is considered to be genuine popularity, Erdogan has accumulated what many believe is an unhealthy amount of power, and he has allegedly been impatient with dissent of all kinds. What Taksim Square represents for Turkey, however, is the first true modern movement in defense of stakeholders’ rights. And that, many believe, is the 21st-century liberation struggle which even the most advanced democracies will have to confront: freedom of speech is one thing, freedom of the press another, both necessary for any genuine democracy to exist, but without a real, and influential voice, for stakeholders, any process of decision-making must be described as less than entirely democratic.