Sunday, June 2, 2013

Is Erdogan mishandling the protests? Will they get worse now?

Everybody already knows that the Turkish police over-reacted and unjustly harmed hundreds of peaceful protesters.



The Turkish TV stations and newspapers are currently not reporting the truth about what is going on - Turks are conveying the truth to each other through various types of social media.

In this article we see that Erdogan does not seem to realize how serious the situation is.  He is calling the protesters 'looters' and 'bums,' but they look like average Turkish citizens to me. 

Instead of compromising and acting with civility, he is acting like the dictator many of his people are calling him. 

to mishandle something - if a person mishandles something, that means the person does not handle (or do) something as well as he should have.  Often if a person mishandles a situation, he/she makes the situation worse. If you handle a situation well, you do a good job in regard to the situation.

a protest - when a group of people gather together to express the fact that they are unhappy about a government policy.

to over-react - to use too much force in a situation; to do too much; to do something harmful which was not necessary

to convey - to express, to reveal

a looter - someone who breaks into a business during an emergency (when the police are busy) and who steals something.

a bum - a homeless person who is too lazy to work

a dictator - a leader who does not listen to what the people want, but who does what he wants.

to compromise - to negotiate. To work out a deal with someone who disagrees with you.

civility - decency. If you act with civility, you act like a civilized person.

The article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/turkeys-prime-minister-recep-erdogan-dismisses-protesters-as-just-a-few-looters-as-thousands-return-to-taksim-square-8641336.html

Vocabulary from the article:

to dismiss - if you dismiss something that someone said, that means you do not consider what was said to have been important.  to disregard; to indicate something is not important.

to reject - to dismiss; to claim that something is not true

to take to the streets - to go into the streets to protest

authoritarian - not democratic.  An authoritarian politician does not listen to the people.

to spiral into - to develop into; to get worse

a confrontation - when two different people or groups meet each other in anger

to evict - to get rid of, to force off of land

demonstrators - people who are protesting

heavy-handed tactics - tactics or actions which are too forceful

to spark - to cause

to be injured - to be hurt

to chant slogans - to repeat statements over and over again.  "Erdogan must go! Erdogan must go!  Erdogan must go!"

to resign - to leave a job

undeterred - unfrightened; not stopped; to deter someone means to frighten him from doing something

to rebuke - to attack with words, to scold

to revamp - to fix up, to make better

a pitched battle - a battle between two well-organized groups in one place

to be detained - to be held by the police

to be wounded - to be harmed

palpable - real; if something is palpable, you can feel it

unrest - the opposite of peace

anti-government movement - a real effort by a group of people to get rid of the current government

to nod approval - to move one's head up and down, meaning you agree

Questions for discussion/writing:

When a large group of people begins to protest to this extent, what should a leader of a country do? 

Do you feel Erdogan is handling this situation correctly?

Erdogan is, technically, not a dictator.  He was elected to office and he is exercising power that was voted to him by building a mosque (Islamic place of worship) in this park.  Do you think the protesters are right in calling for him to resign?

Do you think there is room for compromise between the protesters and Erdogan?

What do you think will happen in the future?

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