Can AKP pass "the exam" on Taksim Square?
Rufiz Hafizoglu, Trend's Arab News Service chief
Since May 31 part of Istanbul's population, which is considered a cultural center of Turkey, started the protest rallies against the construction of a shopping center on Taksim Square.
The protest rallies initially were purely peaceful, but then direction was changed and the rallies turned into a confrontation with the police.
Despite the expected holding of rallies in Istanbul in support of the protests in Taksim Square, the rallies have practically spread to many major cities of the country.
According to information released by the Turkish media, units of rapid response from nearby cities were sent to prevent clashes in Istanbul.
It was expected that the government promptly makes statement in connection with the events. But only after a day, an appeal was made by the Vice Prime Minister of Turkey, Bulent Arinc.
Arinc said that the Turkish Interior Ministry launched an investigation in connection with the protests in the country, highlighting the rightness of the decision, rendered by the 6th Istanbul Administrative Court to suspend construction on Taksim Square.
The most interesting and the most logical statement was made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said that the real reason for the rallies in Istanbul is not about cutting down trees, but the ideological factor.
Indeed, careful study of the events that took place at Taksim Square, show that the protests in Istanbul and other cities had political factor underneath, instead of a public one.
Many analysts in Turkey believe that one of the main causes of the events at Taksim Square is a fierce struggle against alcohol and cigarettes, which was announced by the Turkish authorities at the beginning of the tourist season. But connecting these events directly to the ban on alcohol consumption and smoking in public places would be wrong.
There is no doubt that the Republican People's Party (CHP), which is considered the main opposition party in the country, would want to take advantage of the events.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan even highlighted that supporters of the aforementioned party actively participated in the events that have occurred, and that the opposition is calling for his resignation.
After carefully observing the events, one can see that the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) didn't remain indifferent to the events as well.
But, in contrast to the CHP, the Nationalist Action Party did not make a statement for the nation to join the "Occupy the Taksim" action.
Considering all the above, it becomes obvious that the clashes which occured on the streets of Istanbul are politically motivated, and the main fight is being carried out between the ruling Justice and Development Party and the Republican People's Party.
Some political forces in Turkey say that the events in Taksim Square, will seriously affect the future of the AKP, and, in addition, can end up in resignation of Prime Minister Erdogan.
However, if the events do not take a wide scope, it can be assumed that the AKP will successfully pass the "exam" on Taksim Square.