The view from Istanbul

Claire Berlinski has a front row seat for the protests unfolding in Istanbul (and elsewhere in Turkey) in recent days. The protests continued yesterday as thousands took to the streets of Istanbul’s Taksim Square today to call out the Erdogan government.

Claire covers recent events in a diaristic format in “The Gezi diaries: Can we still call Turkey civilized?” She notes her perspective on the protests in her opening: “I’ve always been a critic of armchair reporting. But when your armchair is four blocks away from Taksim Square, it has one of the best views of the uproar in Istanbul any diligent reporter could ask for. I’m now able to calculate with great precision the time between the beginning of the screaming, the sound of the shot, and the entry of the gas through my window. It’s two and twelve seconds respectively.”

Claire’s diaristic report is worth reading in its entirety, though Claire also has a column-length restatement of her observations in “Tear gas is a symptom of weak democracy.” Among other things, Claire takes up the Obama administration’s apparent lack of interest in, or indifference to, the situation in “Notes on the Turkish troubles,” again providing observations in a longer form, all worth reading. Analyze this: “What is not understandable is that the situation does not appear to be the chief concern, or indeed of any concern, to America’s ambassador in Turkey, Frank Ricciardone.”

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