The events in Istanbul have escalated incredibly quickly in the past few days, with a revolution now at hand. There are many interesting underlying stories about the protests, including the silence of the traditional media and the coverage of these events by internet sites like reddit and imgur. But what is most interesting to me is that all this started because the government was going to destroy one of the last remaining green spaces in the city to make room for a mall. Obviously the people of Turkey are angry about more than just the building of one more mall; they are fed up with the entire regime of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But it should not be overlooked that the last straw, the thing that pushed them over the edge, came when their last remaining park was threatened. It is symbolic, I believe, of increasing worldwide frustration with governments that continue to destroy natural environments and green spaces for the sake of development and urbanization. At the very least, it is a powerful message about what people truly value: open community space, fresh air, and a direct connection to the earth.
Activists agitating against the construction of a shopping mall in a park in Istanbul were violently dispersed by Turkish police. The move triggered mass protests in Turkey’s largest city as well as demonstrations elsewhere, now channeling widespread frustrations and anger with the rule of the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.