I wasa at Taksim Square in Istanbul

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by manigordo, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. manigordo
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    manigordo Well-Known Member

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    I promised to write a review of my experience during the demonstrations at Taksim Square in Istanbul when I returned. I am back and just missed the teargas by an hour. Have some great pictures of the event and spoke with MANY Turkish people about what was going on. Now that things have subsided, it may be important to know that unrest may return in the future.

    Here is what I learned.

    Most of the Turkish people, except the most loyal to Erdogan, supported the protesters for their actions and damned the police. The people are generally pleased with the slow government democratic reforms, but are concerned that Erdogan has become arrogant a slightly too Islamic in his reforms. This is a paradox as he has improved the status of women and done a great job (according to most) of improving the health and social safety nets of the country. He is limiting alcohol which concerns most secular folks. While the country is 98% Muslim, they are very secular compared to most other places and find the idea of limiting alcohol sales the same kind of "slippery slope" that 2nd amendment advocates in the US find gun regulation laws.

    Erdogan is a liar as well, having informed his people that 70 people were killed in Occupation Wall Street has exaggerated other problems around the world in order to jsutify heavy handed tactics at home. People changed their tune about the protests as they could see it affecting tourism and their own pockets when the demonstrations turned violent. Protests good; violence bad. The also objected to "outside groups" agitating and taking advantage of the situation.

    It is hard for an outsider who does not speak Turkish to get all of the nuances, but it is safe to say that some of the "outside group" speak is a part of the propaganda campaign done by Erdogan. It is also safe to say that the situation is complicated. Erdogan has done great things in Turkey. There are fewer homeless people in Istanbul than in St Petersburg Florida where I live. In fact, that is true throughout Turkey where I traveled a lot.

    I would say to listen carefully from several sources before making any decisions about what is happening in the world as things are rarely what they appear.

    The only thing that was crystal clear was that EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE (That is, we spoke with people from all over the world throughout Turkey and Greece) thinks Americans are crazy to question global warming. They all can see it, no matter where they are from around the globe and think we are neanderthals in spite of their admiration for us in other areas. I was struck by how many people wanted to engage us about the issue. I AM JUST REPORTING WHAT I SAW AND HEARD.
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  2. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Thanks for sharing. Interesting stuff.
  3. vaxcardinal
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    vaxcardinal Well-Known Member

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    just to make sure I understand the context...by EVERYONE do you mean every person there or just the people you talked to? if the later, what percentage of the people there did you actually talk to? Also, did you use a translator or did you speak their native language?
  4. manigordo
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    manigordo Well-Known Member

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    Really? I suppose you might say that the sample was self-selective in that every individual who broached the subject of weather (and that came to be a common theme as the weather in Turkey/Greece was a reason for their travel) was wealthy enough to travel, well-educated and spoke English. You may wish to say that there was a small sample, 20-25 people, but the fact that no one took an opposite view and many made it a point, was informative.

    You are free to take the view that it was simply too small a sample and that it is not true that most educated people around the world feel as the ones I met do. But, then again, you may be making their point.
  5. G8trGr8t
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    G8trGr8t Premium Member

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    There is a difference between believing that the planet is warming and that man is responsible for that warming. That nuance seems to get lost in emotional arguments. Details matter and I wonder if the Turks know that the warming has stopped over the last decade. Do they know that masses of people were not killed at OWS. It is not surprising to me that some populations that get limited amount of access to news do not get all the facts but just the ones that the leaders want them to hear. Sad to say it is almost that bad even here now.
  6. vaxcardinal
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    vaxcardinal Well-Known Member

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    so when you say "most people in Turkey" and "everyone" "everywhere" you really mean 20-25 people. Got it.
  7. Gatorhall
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    Gatorhall Premium Member

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    Yeah and Al Gore is laughing all the way to the bank.
  8. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure one could assume that a percentage of those people that were, "well-educated and spoke English" also knew that the easiest way to reduce America's power and economic influence in the world is by restricting our cheap energy supply. The "arsenal of Democracy" needs fuel to continue it's world wide economic dominance... AGW be damned.

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