Image Courtesy of the Financial Times
Image Courtesy of the Financial Times

As a rainbow of protesters re-occupies Taksim Square after it was once again cleared with tear gas and water cannon by the Turkish police, how will it all end? I hope for the best but fear the worst. Prime Minister Erdoğan’s increasingly paranoid nonsense about foreign devils and domestic subversives attempting to wreck the Turkish economy may play well to the party faithful but global capitalism has no morals and abhors instability. As foreign investment takes flight to safer climes, he may be forced to eat his words as the crisis starts to hit his big business cronies where it most hurts – in their pockets.

In the meantime, some people may be put off by what they’ve seen and heard and are rethinking their travel plans. Please don’t be. Despite the troubles, Turkey remains one of the safest holiday destinations around. Tourism in free fall will hit the livelihoods of countless small family-run businesses that rely on the summer rush to see them through the whole year. It will cause genuine hardship and won’t make one iota of difference to the shiny suits in Ankara. If Liam and I weren’t already booked for sunny Spain, we would be parachuting in to Bodrum to show our support.

Much has been written about the events as they have unfolded but none has made more sense to me than an article in the Guardian by Şafak Pavey called ‘Why the Turkish protests matter to the west.’

14 thoughts on “Turkey: Who Will Blink First?

  1. I must read that article. I have been worrying about Turkey a lot. I do hope that things will work out in the end, without democracy being jeopardized in any way… It’s really hard and my heart goes out to the young people.


  2. . . thank you Jack for this – the misguided are calling for a boycott in order to hurt the government, as you state it will damage them little or not at all whilst the families that depend on tourism to survive will suffer. The situation – not the country is a bloody mess with RTE addressing the faithful and the world out of his scuttle! We have friends in Istanbul who work by day in their gas-soaked offices and have slept in Gezi every night for two weeks – if they can do that then the rest of us can support them in the unaffected rest of the country by coming and enjoying a wonderful holiday. Support Turkey – Support Gezi!


  3. We came home from Istanbul last week. Apart from Taksim (and some problems in Besiktas at the time) the rest of Istanbul appeared none the worse. There were still big queues for Topkapi and Haghia Sophia, the tourists were still there. We have just booked a week in Kas for a couple of months time. We are not at all worried. 🙂


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