Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Turkish protesters give Erdogan silent treatment

ISTANBUL, Turkey — Turkey's demonstrations took a new twist on Tuesday, as plazas, malls and public spaces across the country filled with people trying a new form of protest: doing nothing.

Protesters opposed to the 10-year rule of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he may have driven them from central Istanbul's Gezi Park, which they had occupied for more than two weeks, but that he could not arrest them for standing still. More than a thousand people trickled into Taksim Square throughout the day, staring silently at a massive portrait of the country's founding father that security forces hung last week on a building.

The new style of protest — inspired by a single performance artist who late on Monday appeared to be the first to do it in Taksim Square — came on a day of continued crackdown by Erdogan's government. More than 80 people were detained, many of them from left-wing political parties, and Erdogan said he wanted to expand police powers. His government also said it was planning to enact a "cyberterrorism" law to regulate the use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, that have become a vital means for protesters to communicate.

"We will strengthen our police force in every way possible so that we can increase their power against all these events," Erdogan told a Justice and Development Party parliamentary meeting in Ankara.

The U.N. human rights agency, meanwhile, raised concerns Tuesday that tear gas and pepper spray had been fired directly at protesters and inside closed spaces.

Protesters had occupied Taksim Square and adjoining Gezi Park for more than two weeks when police swooped in Saturday, using tear gas and water cannons to push people out. What began as a protest over the park's demolition quickly spread to more general objections about what many opposed to Erdogan describe as his creeping authoritarianism and restrictions on personal liberties.

Demonstrators participate in a “standing man protest’’ Tuesday at Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey.

European Press Agency

Demonstrators participate in a “standing man protest’’ Tuesday at Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey.

Turkish protesters give Erdogan silent treatment 06/18/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 12:40am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum


    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  3. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar


    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.
  4. Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

    Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.
  5. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.