Last weekend, and in the days since, hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Turkey. At stake: the culture and civil liberties of the nation, from family planning to alcohol consumption to the use of public land, as Prime Minister Recap Tayyip Erdogan attempts to forge a Muslim moral majority.
But while protests began peacefully, Erdogan’s response has been anything but. Police have assaulted protesters with tear gas, wounding hundreds.
Elif Batuman is a staff writer for the New Yorker who has been on the ground in Istanbul as demonstrators have flooded the streets and been taken away in ambulances.
Could the protests happening all over Turkey have been predicted? And how long will Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan continue to fight the messages of those who have taken to the streets?
Seyla Benhabib is Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University, and director of their program in Ethics, Politics, and Economics. She’s currently a Senior Fellow at the Transatlantic Academy in Washington.
She was born and educated in Istanbul, and was just there last week for a conference.