Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!
This week’s focus: Turkey and Istanbul
I was only in Istanbul, Turkey, for 3.5 days. To some extent, I feel like I’m still there or perhaps it’s just my heart that is still there. I watch the news closely. I have Turkish colleagues who are engaged in the protests. My journey and mission was cut short due to the protests. What’s this all about?
Imagine if the President of the United States started bulldozing 600-year old trees to build a shopping mall in New York’s Central Park, the Boston Common or San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Do you think there would be a backlash? Of course! And, that is what is happening in Istanbul.
Gezi Park is a small park in the middle of Taksim Square in the heart of downtown Istanbul. It is an oasis in the hustle and bustle of the downtown. The Prime Minister unilaterally decided to implement his plan and began the demolition of Gezi Park.
The reaction from the protesters is predictable and understandable. It’s a complete outrage. But, it’s peaceful outrage seeking a reversal of this decision.
The Turkish PM has lost all moral authority on this issue due to his response, arrogance, sense of entitlement and contempt for those who do not agree with him.
- In an effort to demonize and polarize others against the protesters, the Turkish PM claimed that protesters entered a mosque with their shoes on and drank beer inside the mosque while tending to injured, a fact disputed by the Iman who runs the mosque. This shows a PM trying to polarize people using lies. It’s beneath his office.
- The PM has put forth an angry, violent response against his own citizens with water cannons, tear gas, and more, actions that have resulted in rebukes by the European Union and have contributed to more protesters coming forward. I don’t know how the police can do this to their own people–”just following orders” I guess.
- Tear gas was fired directly into a hotel Saturday night, a violation of international law.
- 3 rival soccer clubs’ fans who despise each other in normal life have come together as one to help the protesters with support. They have years of experience combatting the police. For these groups to come together would have been thought unimaginable.
- The protesters include all religious groups rallying side-by-side–it is a wonderful thing to watch.
Today (Sunday, June 16th), in a staged, partisan rally, the PM sought to rub his “victory” in the faces of those evicted from Gezi Park by force the evening before. What a man!
Istanbul is one of the world’s most magnificent cities. May cooler heads prevail. May the protesters be safe from government-inflicted violence.
The following link will help you see more about what is going on in Istanbul
Thought for the week:
“Apps need to be opinionated. Too flexible and users won’t know what to do.” -Jason Calacanis at Launch 2013
What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!