Turkish voices back Erdogan against protests


In Turkey tens of thousands of people have taken an active part in protests, voicing their anger at what they see as the increasingly authoritarian government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

But he won a landslide at the last election and still has high levels of support across the country.

This weekend there are expected to be big rallies backing the prime minister.

Here, some of his supporters give their views on the current crisis.

I live in Istanbul and I don’t support the protests. I am one of the 50% that is patiently waiting at home.

I was born in America and moved to Turkey three years ago. If it wasn’t for Erdogan I would never have wanted to come to this country.

The Turkish economy has improved dramatically in 10 years. When I visited here in the 90s the money was a joke because of hyper-inflation – a burger cost millions of Turkish lira.

We had a series of weak governments that were toppled under military coups, especially if they showed signs of being too Islamic.

This is the first prime minister and government that broke the cycle.

The protesters seem to be frightened of what the government might do rather than what it actually has done.

They say Erdogan is getting too involved in people’s lives. They can’t produce specific examples of this, other than saying he told people to have three kids. But this was just advice, it’s not like there is law about this.

What they really want is for the prime minister to resign – but who do they want in his place? They don’t want someone from his party. They don’t really want someone from the opposition parties either.

Why don’t the protesters go and form new party and run against the governing party?

I will continue to support Erdogan and want him to run for the presidency. This is a leader you only get once in a century.

The protesters are failing democracy not advancing it. They are condemning anyone who disagrees with them and actively brand pro-Erdogan voters ignorant and bigoted.

Caner Ozdemir

They protest for the whole night, keeping people up and making them agitated.

They have damaged streets and insulted the police – provoking them into using tear gas. The result is that members of the public who are not part of the protest get caught up in the use of tear gas.

Because I wear a headscarf protesters have picked me out, assuming I vote for the governing AK Party, and harassed me.

One night last week I was driving with two of my sisters who also wear headscarves. We met protesters on a road who had closed two of the lanes. They picked on our car and about 30 people started rocking it back and forth.

The protest against Erdogan is unfair but it does not really matter now. More than 50% of the voting population chose him and his party at the last election.

A significant number of people were not convinced that Erdogan would be the best choice at the next election. But I think protesters have pushed those people into supporting his party.

I am a member of Greenpeace and would have supported a protest that was about protecting trees – but this has become something else.

On what planet is destroying cities and attacking innocent human beings the decent reaction to anything?

It was a peaceful protest, people were reading books. And then the police attacked them with excessive force. That’s when more people joined the protest. I was among them.

But then we got a concession – the park construction was put on hold. The Deputy PM Bulent Arinc met representatives of the crowd and asked them what they wanted. He also apologised to the innocent people who were targeted by police.

At this point I thought we had to stop the protests because our initial demand was met. A final decision on the park was going to come in due course.

I went home, but the protests continued and are still ongoing. They object to having their freedom limited, to restrictions on alcohol which they interpret as an attempt by an Islamic party to impose its religious ways.

I actually agree on the alcohol policy, there are similar policies in European countries.

They are asking for the government to resign, but this is not the way it should happen.

I voted for this government and I think they’ve been successful in many areas. Our economy is stronger than before and we have finally paid off our IMF loans.

The government ended the military dominance – the days of army coups are in the past.

And we are on our way, perhaps, to become members of the EU.

The protests have been disruptive. I live on the Asian side of Istanbul and have not been able to go out in the centre for two weeks.

Zeynep Goktas

If the only thing protesters want is for Erdogan to quit, then I say they should challenge him at the next election.

I think the lack of a strong opposition leader lies behind the protesters’ anger – even if they say it’s about Erdogan’s authoritarianism.

The protesters have no-one to represent them in the parliament. The two main opposition groups are nationalist rather than leftist.

I voted for Erdogan twice, and I am quite happy with the current economic and democratic situation in Turkey.

I am from an ethnic minority community in Turkey and I have never felt as free as I do today.

It would not have been easy to declare that I was not Turkish 15 years ago, now I am very free to say so. Erdogan’s government has changed the country.

It is the same for gay people. Gay pride parades are now free in Turkey – which would have been beyond the imagination 10 years ago.

I know that 50% of young people in Spain are unemployed, I know about the situation in Greece and even in the UK. I think economically we are doing better than countries in the EU.

Erdogan is also the only one who could have dared bring the PKK Kurdish rebels to a ceasefire agreement.

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  • bubibubi

    All those lie imo. one person and one half workin brain!
    You guys dont know what happened or what happening already again and again. She sayin election. our election all about cheating and full of liess…
    This Lady needs to study real history first than maybe some logic talk she can produce…
    Shame and so lame and lieeeeeee

    • racist

      your mum is cheating. yyakında hepinizi temizlicez pis ermeniler

  • nemesis

    Erdogan deceiving the ignorant part of Turkey. And sadly, almost half of Turkey’s population is ignorant. That is why Erdogan wins the election all the time. Erdogan is a thief. There are lots of evidence about AKP’s lawlessness. But the judgement is also in their hands.

    • racist

      aptal senin babandır amk ananaı sıkıım

    • ferre.

      the real reason other parties, especially Chp cannot and will not win in the future is this attitude its members have. you’re dividing the country, setting yourselves on the top and looking people down your nose. in the end, you are bound to those you call “ignorant” my friend.

  • hdp

    do not believe him! he is not a supporter. he is just a person who takes money from the government. here are thousands of people like him. look at the comments. ‘racist’ said “we will erase you armenians!’ this is what akp is. they are killing hundreds of people in a year. erdogan is a thief and a murderer also. and he lied to the public several times. and now he is cheating kurdish people after turkish people! our elections was a shit of lie!

  • hdp

    erdoğan is a supporter of IŞİD. and god damn usa knows this. like before they are helping the terrorists. but we don’t need any help. we have power to get rid of this trouble as before!

  • hdp

    do not believe this person! they hate gays and always try to stop the pride! they all are homofobic and racist people. this guy is just a lie. does anyone know how many lgbti people are being killed in a year? they are murdering us.

  • Havacini

    Omg commenters here are really worse than tea-partiers. Next thing you know they will ask for Erdogan’in birth certificate. Seriously this is hilarious. Only people against Erdogan are conservative republicans, the people who call themselves as “the white turks” and the ultra-nationalists which really tells something. And this article is very accurate. Erdogan has his faults, he is no perfect but the election was not faulty. Whenever the conservative republicans lose an election they go for “the election was fixed” lies for decades now.

    • Emma

      Erdoğan is the best! Some ppl just soran teamül Turkey to become a strong country! Turks in love wıth Tayyip so do i!!! He is the besttttt In all the way!

  • Peaceandfreedom

    This article is so misleading and delusional. You can easily see the support for a side other than being objective. I live in Turkey and all I can see is the terror and unsecular population that Erdogan brings. Also he is a proved thief by the laws.

  • Hunter

    Everyone knows erdogan rigged the elections. Let’s not kid ourselves. Everyone knows that most of the votes are the people who his party helps financially. The “white-turks” Are the intelligent hard working people of this country, most of which are professors, writers, actors, doctors, etc. Erdogan will fall…His arrogance will be the end of him, that’s when the 50% that vote for him will begin to deny they ever did!

  • I wont start with the politics, I think everyone is aware of what has been going on, I would simply point out to the “guided ignorance” of these people by one fact;
    A burger he says, costed millions of TL, after they “removed” the zeros from our TL, hyper inflation simply grew to be “über-inflation” on our 1 TL, 1M TL actually was worth significantly more USD than 1 TL of now. One bar of snickers costed 1M TL before and it costs 1 TL now.

  • WV

    Why is this site is picking a site in this matter? You have shared the opinions of the supporters. What about the opinions of the opposers?

  • AmericanWoman56

    Ignorant covered women don’t understand that Tayip wants to become a dictator. Do you have any idea about what happened in Egypt, Libya, and Syria? Take that rag off your head and open your mind!

    • stopjudgingwomen

      who are you to judge women and tell them what to wear? would you like to be judged yourself? this is why feminism cannot win, people like you! what you’re doing here, calling people “ignorant” because of “their choice” of clothing, is the real reason of ignorance. Tell them get educated if/when you think their idea is wrong. not when you have no knowledge of it and you just choose to ignore any other evidence except the “headscarf” they are wearing. (written by a muslim feminist, who doesn’t choose to cover her head cause it’s a fricking choice she made herself like women who does cover.)

  • busra

    He won the election by cheating, there were vote envelopes burned and hidden, found after the election, not only once, I live in turkey

  • Sparkles in Istanbul

    WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH!!!!! Right from the beginning this article if full of nonsense, with a sentence like: “But he won a landslide at the last election and still has high levels of support across the country.” WHATEVER! That was the most scandalous, third-world, cheatin’ election in the universe. Tsk tsk.

  • D.C. Tuncay

    I immigrated to Turkey 17 years ago and everything that has been reported in this article is true. The other parties had 90 years to do the right thing for the citizens and they only feathered their own nests to the great expense of the nation. Ak gives back to the people and for the first time Turkey has a middle class.

  • Tom

    Reading the comments above now, 2016, those people must wonder how they got it so wrong.