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Erdogan Not in Serious Trouble Yet, Claims Expert

Dr. Mordechai Kedar: protests in Turkey are not an “Arab Spring” situation at this point.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/4/2013, 9:13 AM

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
AFP/File

Middle East expert, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, said Tuesday that Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not facing an “Arab Spring” type rebellion, despite large scale protests in several Turkish cities in recent days.

Dr. Kedar told Arutz Sheva that the events in Turkey “are far from being what happened in Egypt, Libya or Syria.”

The primary difference, he said, is the character of the groups currently protesting against Erdogan. The protesters are “greens,” leftists and others who are not motivated by extremist Islam, he said.

The protesters are hitting the streets, he said, against Erdogan's general behavior and the transfer of authority to the presidential institution, which he is carrying out in anticipation of the day he himself will be president, and as part of his plan to institute a presidential regime.

Erdogan pulled his policemen out of Taksim Square, Kedar noted, in order to make the protest relatively peaceful. The continued presence of police would have fanned flames, he said, and led to a widening of the protest.

Kedar did not rule out the possibility of a larger rebellion forming, but noted that Turkey's economic situation is much better than the one in “Arab Spring” countries like Tunisia, and Turks do not want to “spill the economic baby with the protest bathwater.”

The expert said it would be best to examine the situation in Turkey in two days' time, and see if the protesters go back to their routine lifestyles.

Meanwhile, protesters continued to gather at Taksim Square Monday night. One protester died when a taxi ran him over.