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LOCAL > Protesters are young, libertarian and furious at Turkish PM, says survey

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

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A majority of the Taksim Gezi Park protesters do not feel close to any political party, according to a recent online survey. DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah Gürel

A majority of the Taksim Gezi Park protesters do not feel close to any political party, according to a recent online survey. DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah Gürel

A majority of the Taksim Gezi Park protesters do not feel close to any political party and have said the prime minister’s authoritarian attitude caused the ongoing protests across the country, according to a recent online survey conducted among the protesters.

Seventy percent of the protesters said they did not feel close to any political party, while only 15.3 percent said they felt close to a political party, according to a recent online survey conducted by Esra Ercan Bilgiç and Zehra Kafkaslı, two academics from Istanbul Bilgi University between June 3 and 4.

Only 7 percent of the respondents said the political party they were a member of influenced them in joining the protests. However, the prime minister’s authoritarian attitude was influential for 92.4 percent of respondents attending the protests, while 91.3 of respondents said the police’s disproportionate use of force was influential. A large majority of respondents, 91.1 percent, said the violation of democratic rights influenced them to attend the protests. The silence of media on the demonstration influenced 84.2 percent of the respondents to attend the protests. More than half of the respondents, 56.2 percent, said the cutting of trees in Taksim Gezi Park was influential in their participation in the demonstrations.

What do Turkish protesters want?

A majority of the protesters demanded respect of liberties and an end to police violence while rejecting a military coup against the government.

The rate of those who demanded “an end to police violence” was 96.7 percent, while 96.1 percent demanded “respect of liberties from now on.” Only 37 percent demanded a new political party be established. A total of 79.5 percent of respondents said they did not want a military coup to intervene in Parliament, while 6.6 percent of respondents demanded a military coup.

Who are Taksim Gezi protesters?

A majority of the protesters defined themselves as libertarian and did not vote for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), according to the survey. A majority of the protesters who completed the survey, 81.2 percent, defined themselves as “libertarian.” A total of 64.5 percent of the respondents defined themselves as “secular.” Those who did not define themselves as “conservative” totaled 75 percent, while those who did not “vote for the AKP” made 92.1 percent. More than half of the respondents denied being apolitical. Out of 3,000 respondents, 75.8 percent said they had joined the recent protests in Turkey by going out to the streets.

Many people made noise from their balconies by hitting pots or turning off and on their lights in the evenings to support the protests across the country, which started in Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square to stop a shopping mall project that was to replace Gezi Park there.

Among the respondents, 63.6 percent were between the ages of 19 and 30.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had previously said the Gezi Park project triggered the protests but later the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and some extremists intervened on the ground to motivate the demonstrations.

June/05/2013

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READER COMMENTS

Notice on comments

Rahmi Tokmak

10/1/2013 1:09:12 AM

Indeed, the parties I call them parties from now and the past less chance for the future if they act like the 3 wise monkeys. On the other side I would see these young people to stope to strike and to being smart enough to create themselves a new party, let's call it liberty party, a new party like the Green Party in Germany founded in 1980

Rahmi Tokmak

10/1/2013 1:09:11 AM

Indeed, the parties I call them parties from now and the past less chance for the future if they act like the 3 wise monkeys. On the other side I would see these young people to stope to strike and to being smart enough to create themselves a new party, let's call it liberty party, a new party like the Green Party in Germany founded in 1980

Can Lamberoglu

6/5/2013 10:22:10 PM

Eric, no reply to the comments addressed to you?

a shah

6/5/2013 9:46:59 PM

Turkey is not tyrannical and fairly democratic by any standards, it has a strong identity, a glorious history with one of the strongest economy in Europe. These protesters are punks whose primary goal is to achieve "freedom" that defines it as open indulgence in drugs alcohol and sex without any inhibitions something which they can indulge in any parks or squares of Europe, where they can participate any day or hour of the night without any hindrance.

mehmet ud

6/5/2013 9:40:01 PM

secular website are trying their best to keep the dying spring alive but i have news for them! the people of turkey will never allow their freedom and security to be taken away by secularist rioters. Some friends already ask me to join million man march in support of turkey, its values and its elected government. Currently in process of being organised. may be by friday if the government give permission

Robert Hastings

6/5/2013 9:07:25 PM

Libertarians like Thomas Jefferson founded America -good to see people care about liberty in Turkey.

Dave Chapman

6/5/2013 6:31:02 PM

ERIC MARTIN: Lamberoglu is quite right, every kid every where has phones and access to computers....what is your point there?! And, there ARE indeed problems in the education system, with the lowest number of young adults attending university in the developed world and changes for the primary level students with the Quran being expounded at the sacrifice of learning Turkish history and the values of Ataturk. Would you mind if there was a protest about that too, seems perfectly valid to me.

Ali Kanat

6/5/2013 6:18:59 PM

Oh dear. Looks like Eric believed Mr Gul and some of the random socialists the western media naively chose to interview as "representative". The former is misrepresenting the situation and the latter make up a tiny percentage of the protestors. The core of this protest is the middle class and educated, who are being crushed by Mr Erdogan's army of the backwards.

Ian Daniels

6/5/2013 5:51:28 PM

Eric Martin, I'm amazed at your comments. Just because the economic situation has changed in Turkey doesn't neccessarily mean that these protesters are happy with the increasingly dictatorial policies of Mr Erdogan and his government. All the luxuries in the world cannot compensate for the gradual erosion of people's rights. You have a very limited and narrow view.

mara mcglothin

6/5/2013 5:41:19 PM

Finally the voices of tomorrow are front and center to set a new course for Turkey. In the past it was so convenient for there to be a military coup, but now it will be up to the people themselves to plot a new course.
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