Turkey’s protests: Still out on the streets

Another day in Taksim Square

THE protests that have convulsed Turkey since May 31st are prompting many questions about the future of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Has the prime minister’s popularity been irreparably dented? Can he still be elected president next year? Most critically, what effect has the turmoil had on his bold efforts to solve the country’s long-festering Kurdish problem?An answer to that came from Selahattin Demirtas, leader of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy party (BDP), who told the daily Milliyet that talks between the government and Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), had almost come unstuck. “At a time when it was expected to take further steps, the government revealed its harsh and authoritarian face to the public,” Mr Demirtas said of police brutality towards protesters. Worries that Mr Erdogan would turn his back on the Kurds grew as he reverted to nationalist clichés during pro-government rallies. Draping a flag over his Ankara house, Mr Erdogan called on supporters to do the same and called Mr Ocalan a “terrorist” again.The BDP, wary of…

The Economist: Europe

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