Saturday, April 26, 2008

May Day in Turkey

Keep an eye on Turkey on May Day: "Government, Unions Split over May 1 Celebrations" (Turkish Daily News, 23 April 2008); "Massive Preparation for the 1st of May amidst Threats of the Prime Minister" (Atılım, 23 April 2008); and "Turk Unions Firm on May 1 Celebration in Taksim" (Hurriyet, 25 April 2008).

This is a potentially big turning point for labor in Turkey. The turnout is likely to be very large. What might be the outcome?

1. The AKP, threatened with a closure case, may feel it is not in its interest to employ harsh measures of repression; the "deep state" may think that this May Day, for once, will be useful for it may help check the AKP. If that's the case, workers can exploit this opportunity and de facto regain the right to assemble in Taksim Sqaure. A significant victory for labor.

2. The "deep state" may think that a big May Day rally presents it with a perfect opportunity to create chaos and check both labor and the AKP.

No comments: