Turkey: Riots and Unrest

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Turkish_ProtestorThe suicide of a Tunisian fruit vendor was the unlikely spark for the underlying anger and discontent that exploded into the Arab Spring, but in Turkey it is a highly symbolic piece of urban planning that has lit the fuse.

Riots and unrest have spread through Turkey’s main cities, fanned by a brutal police response, after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan backed the demolition of potent symbols of the country’s secular constitution.

Throughout his 10 years in power Erdogan has overseen a persistent program of Islamization and imposition of conservative religious rules in Turkey. But he appears to have gone a step too far with his plans for redevelopment of Istanbul’s Gezi Park and Taksim square.

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