A revival of the spirit of Gezi?
Erdoğan wants to rebuild an Ottoman military barracks in Istanbul's Gezi Park although the plan led to country-wide protests in 2013. At the same time students from more than 370 high schools are protesting the government's education policy. Is Turkey being caught up in a new wave of dissent?
Erdoğan wants to provoke civil war
The liberal news website T24 sees the Turkish president's announcement as a deliberate provocation:
“Mr Erdoğan knows very well that this will infuriate a considerable proportion of the population in an already dangerous, tense and explosive situation, and only increase the tensions, anger and polarisation. That is precisely what he is aiming for. … Is the plan to spread the trench warfare against the Kurds in the east and southeast to the west and Istanbul? One hesitates to believe this but if you look at the political developments and events, as well as Erdoğan's style and logic over the last two to three years, with the eyes of a sociologist there are many signs that support these fears. … So the first thing we must do is thwart these provocations.”
Atatürk's youth will save Turkey
As with the Gezi protests three years ago the movement is emanating from the country's youth, the Kemalist daily Sözcü writes in delight:
“Tens of thousands of students from hundreds of schools have published wonderful papers calling for an end to toleration for the AKP's backward-looking, repressive mentality. The average age in Turkey is 30, almost 40 million Turks are under 30 years old. They have the power, the future lies in their hands, and we're lucky that they are determined to shape their future with assurance and resolve. In this way any system that tries to oppress the youth is doomed. Because this youth is strong, idealistic, fearless, and ready for sacrifice. And most importantly, Turkey's youths are followers of Atatürk. They know Atatürk, and they know that they have his timeless vision to thank for the freedom and modernity they have experienced until now.”
Conspirators want to destroy the country
The protests by secondary school pupils is part of a highly dangerous conspiracy that follows in the footsteps of the Gezi Park protests, according to the pro-government daily Yeni Şafak:
“There are signs of a plan to drive both the Alevi and the Kurds out onto the streets next autumn. This plan is aimed not at bringing about a street-driven coup, a change of regime or Erdoğan's downfall, but at destroying and dividing Turkey and turning it into another Syria. The game that is being played out using the secondary school pupils today is a rehearsal for this. … Perhaps the most successful schools, attended by pupils from middle-class and upper-class families with a Western lifestyle, will be turned into centres of operations. The 'rebellion of the secondary schools' is aimed at giving the Gezi vandalism a new form.”