They have been largely peaceful: pots and pans have been used to voice concern. The people in Turkey are experiencing the dictatorship of a majority, their voices unheard as a result of restrictions in media freedom, the high threshold for political parties and the government’s winner-takes-all mentality. The weakness of the opposition surely does not help either.
But the government, which presents itself as full of ambition and confidence internationally, must act responsibly. They must urge restraint in police violence and see dialogues and reforms. This does not mean arresting lawyers, fining the media and inciting people. Personal threats by the President, the Prime Minister and the AKP party towards the media, social media, financial institutions and all of the citizens that they claim to represent is worrying, dangerous and misguided.
Let us be honest, as honest as Turkish politicians tend to be towards us. We have addressed the problems with the rule of law, separation of powers, fundamental rights and the need to respect the rights of women and the media. Once more we would like to stress the need for actual democratisation, beyond ‘one man, one vote’. Turkey needs to respect pluralism and freedoms and strive to be a liberal democracy, not an illiberal one.