Image: Topkapı Palace from the Bosphorus, Istanbul Turkey.
Modern Turkey & Current Events:
I know a jump from the Middle Ages to the Modern day seems rather large, but I felt it was important to propel forwards in the case of Turkey. Above is the palace of the Ottoman Sultans from 1465-1856. It’s initial construction was ordered by Sultan Mehmed II in the 1460s.
Here’s a selection of pieces to catch you up to the modern day:
Turkey’s new direction has become the topic of fervent internal debate, with tension growing between the secular establishment — in charge for the republic’s first 80 years — and the rising conservative bourgeoisie represented by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has ruled the country for over a decade.
Turkey’s Rebranding into the New, Old Ottoman Empire - The Atlantic
Keeping up with the protests in Turkey:
Q: What’s going on in Turkey?
A: Demonstrators were camping out in Istanbul’s landmark Taksim Square to protest plans to rip out trees and redevelop the area when authorities launched a violent pre-dawn raid Friday to clear them out. Protests against the police’s heavy-handed response quickly spread to cities across the country. Monday was the fourth day that riot police used tear gas in Istanbul and Ankara against protesters.
— Associated Press
But beyond the park protests, what is going on?
hat began Friday as a small environmental rally protesting plans to tear down a six-square-block city park has ballooned into what by nearly all accounts is the largest and most-direct challenge to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s regime since he came to power more than a decade ago. On Monday, the demonstrations entered their fourth day, with thousands of people gathering in Istanbul’s landmark Taksim Square to protest what they contend is Erdoğan’s ever-increasing authoritarianism. Erdoğan, meanwhile, has attempted to dismiss the demonstrations as the work of a vocal anti-Islam minority who have continually worked to derail his efforts to boost the Middle Eastern nation’s financial fortunes.
— The Slate’s quick cheat sheet
So the latest news brings us to what? How are these protests shaping the history of Turkey today? The most current events:
In an apparent change of tactics, Turkey’s prime minister agreed on Monday to meet with leaders of the protest movement whose opposition to the razing of a park in Istanbul’s Taksim Square was a catalyst for violent nationwide antigovernment demonstrations that began more than a week ago and escalated into a political crisis.
Three people were killed and more than 2,300 injured in the violence, which revealed some deep-seated resentment toward Mr. Erdogan. Although he has widespread support across much of Turkey, the protests presented him with one of the biggest political challenges since he became Turkey’s leader a decade ago.
— The New York Times