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Turkey: Protests Taking New Shape

Despite smothering government pressure, critics of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are finding new ways to make their voices heard.

Many say their goal now is to channel the energy of the Occupy Gezi protests into a wider opposition movement, with an aim of mounting opposition to Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in local elections in 2014 and parliamentary elections in 2015, but without joining arms with any existing political force. Or resorting to violence.

The protests, initially aimed at stopping a development project for Gezi Park, a lone strip of greenery in congested central Istanbul, quickly evolved into a national outpouring of grievances against Erdoğan’s heavy-handed governing style. Smaller protests broke out across the country, but limited local press coverage means verifying their size and scope remains difficult. Five people have been killed and thousands injured in the weeks of clashes between protesters and police.

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Justin Vela is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.

Turkey: Protests Taking New Shape

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