Turkey Urban Protesters Blame Erdogan for Narrowing Freedoms - Bloomberg
Without opposing the relaxation of curbs on religion, some protesters say it has translated into a restriction of their own freedoms.
Gizem Oray, 21, was among a crowd of students dodging tear gas and water cannons fired by police in Ankara on June 3. She described how two weeks earlier, a roommate and her boyfriend were attacked by a group of men wearing Islamic dress for holding hands on the street.
“These guys would never have dared to do this, in the heart of the capital, a few years ago,” she said. “This government is responsible, there’s no other explanation.”
The wave of protests against Erdogan and his government began when police used tear gas and water cannons to clear a small group of demonstrators out of a park near Taksim, where they were opposing redevelopment plans. It has spread to more than 60 cities, leaving hundreds of police and protesters injured. Clashes continued overnight, including in the southeastern provinces of Tunceli and Elazig, after a fifth day of protests yesterday.