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European Journal

Turkey: The Gezi generation

Despite police violence, the demonstrations in Turkey continue. The protests that began spontaneously three weeks ago have turned into a movement that aims to create permanent change.

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If Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to be believed, the protest movement is a flash in the pan, sponsored by foreign forces and infiltrated by left-wing terrorist groups. But many observers see instead the awakening of a new civil society. It’s not just students and intellectuals who are taking to the streets - they’ve been joined by families with children, trade unionists and women wearing headscarves. What unites them is their persistence and creativity. Many Turks are now worried their country could lose its connection to Europe completely in a haze of tear gas.