News, Politics

Riots In Turkey Getting Worse

Image: David Benbennick
The Turkish flag. Image: David Benbennick

In Turkey, a country in eastern Europe, a huge protest has been taking place in the largest city, Istanbul.

It started last week when the government wanted to make over a main square, taking away trees and building a shopping mall.

It also planned to rebuild a historical building, a former Ottoman army barracks. The Ottoman Empire was very strong in Turkey in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Unlike Arab Spring, when many Middle East countries erupted with protests against the government, Turkey’s government has always been seen around the world as more tolerant than many of those countries.

So when cause of the protests seemed to be a local problem, people thought is must be a very different kind of protest.

The Prime Minister of Turkey even called off the police when a raid in the square became violent. It seemed like he was listening to the people.

But he continued to speak out against the demonstrations. He said they were not legal and warned the people he could bring together a lot more police to fight his cause.

The riots grew, with anti-government slogans and speeches. The people said they want the Prime Minister to resign because he won’t listen to any other ideas except his own.

Now the police have gone back with more violence and what was once considered a democratic country is losing its positive reputation around the world.

Last week, the U.S. Secretary of State spoke out against anti-democratic government action. This statement has angered many Turkish politicians and has created tension between these two, historically friendly, nations.

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The Arab Spring did not spread to Turkey when it first began. However, it may have just arrived. Do you think these riots will continue until a new prime minister is elected?

Reading Prompt: Extending Undestanding
TKN has covered many stories about the Arab Spring. Pick one of these stories from our archive by searching “Arab Spring.” How are the events in Turkey similar? How are the different? How can this help you make a prediction about may happen next? Does this change your answer to the writing/discussion prompt?

Use stated and implied ideas in texts to make inferences and construct meaning (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Grammar Feature: “al” suffix
The “al” suffix doesn’t get a lot of attention, but just like other suffixes, it has its own unique meaning and is a handy suffix for readers and writers to know. The “al” ending means “relating to.” In addition, words that end in “al” are often nouns that have been changed into adjectives. For example, today’s article includes the words, “lethal” and “local.” What other words can you think of that end with “al?” Compare your list to a friends. Cross out all the words you both wrote. Then score who has the most words left.