"The revolution will not be televised"
Those are the words graffitied on walls all over Turkey. Do you know what's been happening? I hate to admit it but I think, like many of us, I've sadly gotten a little bit jaded about civil unrest and violence in the Middle East. However, I have been reading about the recent events in Turkey, and it feels like something different.
Silent sit-in protesters against the demolition of Gezi park, one of the few green spots left in Istanbul, were attacked violently with tear gas, water bombs, and BBs by police on Thursday. Though the government has apologized for the overuse of force, Prime Minister Erdogan has not changed plans to destroy Gezi park and has asked protesters to stand down. The two most interesting things about this event are the reaction against the regime that it has set in place and the exposure of the magnitude of censorship power the Turkish government holds. Protests have sparked up in hundreds of other cities, including cities outside of Turkey in solidarity against what people are concerned is an increasingly authoritarian Islamist government. Twitter is an absolute madhouse, with the #occupygezi tag updating at an impossible speed to show the world what new channels will not. The activist group Anonymous has sworn to take down Turkish communication and networking channels to show the truth. Basically, it is getting cray up in Turkey.
It's hard to say what will happen to this protest. Maybe it will fizzle out as the government continues to decrease police response and people's attention wanes, or maybe it will turn into a powerful Arab Spring sequel and we will see Turkey's first serious regime change since 2003. For now though, I think it's the responsibility of those of us who don't face the censorship that Turkish citizens do to spread the word. The revolution will not be televised. Psst, pass it on.


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