'Occupy Taksim' protests take on AKP government
The "Occupy Taksim" protests on the iconic İstiklal Avenue have turned into a political movement that aims to call on the government to resign, with the turnout at the protests becoming even bigger over the weekend.
It started out as a small scale rally against the demolition of a park in Taksim, but the protest has turned into an all out rally against the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. The protesters were also given impetus by the AKP government's latest restrictions on alcohol, but the focus of the protest has now shifted to demands calling on the government to resign. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave a signal of compromise over demands against the Taksim urbanization project on Saturday.
This was an unusual call by a prime minister who has increasingly been imposing an Islamist agenda on the country. The expected participation of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) pointed to more polarization within Turkish politics, as the number of "Occupy Taksim" protesters grew even bigger.
The destiny of "Occupy Taksim" on İstiklal Avenue has been a being questioned, with police brutality on protesters becoming heavier. The protesters at odds with the tradition of the silence of Turkish society, but demonstrations appear to be a ticking time bomb against the AKP government.