By Jean-Paul Marthoz
Open Democracy - 26 June 2013
did Erdogan miss his historic opportunity? Inadvertently? Due to exasperation?
Or because, more consequentially, he does not identify with those 'European
values' that would force him to respect a country that cannot be reduced to its
Sunni, Turkish, conservative majority?
Saturday. Soft sunlight stroking Istanbul. Smiling cheekily, the simit
vendor had returned to his usual spot a few steps away from my hotel to sell
his sesame-sprinkled bread rings. In Istiklal avenue, the huge pedestrian
boulevard in the 'European quarter', the shopkeepers rolled up the iron
shutters as if the day were promising to be beautiful and munificent. A fresh
scent of coffee filled the air in the lanes that hurdle down towards the Pera
Palace hotel and the Galata bridge.
the eve, in a bar in the 'bobo quarter' - the bohemian-bourgeois quarter of
Cihangir - a Turkish friend confided his optimism to me. "By welcoming
delegates of the occupiers of Gezi park, the Prime Minister has made a
gesture", he said. "Who knows, after all, Recep Tayyip Erdogan may be
capable of paying attention to voices other than those of his courtiers."
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