Archive | June 2013

Disclaimer – Connor

Disclaimer:

The [Provider] does not necessarily endorse or agree with the opinions of any individuals, groups, or organisations whom may participate in the [Activity]. In consideration of your participation in said [Activity], the individual does hereby grants full permissions for [Provider] to henceforth use the following document as evidence in future work.

Name of [Provider] and Signature:

Peter Adams

PAdams                                      

Name of Individual Participant [Print] and Signature:

Connor High

CHiggot                                      

The Following Questions All Regard To The Current Issue Regarding Turkey, And It’s Taksim Protests. The Questions Do No Reflect The Views Of [Provider], And Can Be Answered At Your Own Discretion.

Turkeys Government responded to the peaceful protests with force, using water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowd, not all of which were participants of the protests. Many have compared this show of violence with the outbreak in Syria two years previously.

1) Do you believe that violence was necessary to disperse the crowd?

It was a disproportionate way to deal with the situation if it was truly peaceful, and using water cannons and tear gas goes too far against the law if the protest remained non-violent.

2) Many in the crowd were tourists, including various students visiting the square. How do you feel about the Governments actions against the crowd?

Same as my first answer, but with more detail, it gets worse. Tourists are a generally neutral faction on visits and holidays, and involving them without the sufficient evidence goes against the charters of the law chapter.

3) Mr Erdogan has often been described as a leader for the ‘fifty per cent’, regarding his fifty per cent vote win at the government election. Do you believe that in a nation where half of the population feel ignored, that conflict was inevitable?

There are always two sides to the same coin. Half of the population being left out practically spells “revolutionary action”, and can cause a mass upheaval if the other half find that they’ve been left out of the equation. There must always be a fair option and more than one choice in every situation.

Disclaimer – Tom

Disclaimer:

The [Provider] does not necessarily endorse or agree with the opinions of any individuals, groups, or organisations whom may participate in the [Activity]. In consideration of your participation in said [Activity], the individual does hereby grants full permissions for [Provider] to henceforth use the following document as evidence in future work.

Name of [Provider] and Signature:

Peter Adams

PAdams                      

Name of Individual Participant [Print] and Signature:

Thomas Ralston

TRalston                   

The Following Questions All Regard To The Current Issue Regarding Turkey, And It’s Taksim Protests. The Questions Do No Reflect The Views Of [Provider], And Can Be Answered At Your Own Discretion.

Turkeys Government responded to the peaceful protests with force, using water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowd, not all of which were participants of the protests. Many have compared this show of violence with the outbreak in Syria two years previously.

1) Do you believe that violence was necessary to disperse the crowd?

It was a peaceful protest, right? So no, not really.

2) Many in the crowd were tourists, including various students visiting the square. How do you feel about the Governments actions against the crowd?

Unnecessary; tear gas and water cannons shouldn’t be needed to disperse a peaceful protest. The maximum violence they should have been forcing them to move, not opening fire with tear gas and water cannons.

3) Mr Erdogan has often been described as a leader for the ‘fifty per cent’, regarding his fifty per cent vote win at the government election. Do you believe that in a nation where half of the population feel ignored, that conflict was inevitable?

No, conflict isn’t inevitable if only half the country is represented. It’s how the government treats the other half that spells conflict.

Writing Copy: Hard News.

Although it might seem like a distant memory, when the Syrian riots erupted out more than two years ago, it had begun with peaceful intent; following in the footsteps of Egypt and Tunisia, a series of protests began around Syria, in defiance of its Government, whom had arrested, and supposedly tortured, fifteen school children whom had written anti-government graffiti on a wall. Whilst the protests began peacefully, calling for the release of the children, the Government quickly devolved it into violence, opening fire on the protesters, killing four people, only to fire again at the mourners of the deceased the next day. It’s of no surprise that a public uproar erupted, resulting in a two year long conflict. On the second anniversary of its civil uprising, General Salim Idriss published a statement regarding Syria’s gruelling, yet crucial, revolution:

 

“As you all know the Syrian revolution started peacefully. The only thing the Syrian people asked for was freedom, justice and reform. The regime of Bashar al-Assad responded with violence, torture, killings, massacres and bombing of our cities. Today nobody is safe anymore, men and women, elderly people and children…We all know that the regime will fall, it’s just a matter of when.”

 

Over two years since Syria’s civil war erupted, the short-lived history seems set to repeat itself, continuing on with the chain of anti-government conflicts spreading from the Eastern World.

 

What began as a small group of environmental campaigners, not unlike Syria, defending Istanbul’s main Taksim Square from government plans to tear down the parks trees, has exploded into a display of defiance against the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP). The crisis spiralled, however, when force was used to evict the campaigners; thousands of Istanbul’s citizens have taken to protests and have supposedly spread to 67 cities nationwide, with more than 1,700 people having been arrested for their anti-government actions. What began as a peaceful campaign quickly descended into violence, with the police forced to use tear gas and water cannons in response.

 

When compared with the once peaceful conflict in Syria, are we about to see another two year-long revolution erupting in the streets of Istanbul?

 

In the early hours of Friday morning, 10,000 supporters of Mr Erdogan’s AKP party descended upon Istanbul’s Ataturk airport. Mr Erdogan urged for the ‘illegal protests’ to come to an ‘immediate halt’, whilst warning that those out on the streets risked being manipulated by terrorist organisations.

 

Recep Erdogan, whom was elected to Prime Minister of Turkey back in 2003, has openly blamed social media for the protests and subsequent riots, and although he received a 10,000 strong welcome back to the country, his words seem to have done little to quill the now violent protests, which have spread to some 67 cities throughout Turkey. He’s directly opposed the social media site, Twitter, which has been speculated as a way for the protesters to organise themselves across the country, declaring it to be a place for ‘the worst lies’. This attempt to censor the media, however, has only seemed to further the cause of the protesters, whom also demand for a free media, unrestrained by what the Government deems as ‘acceptable’. This isn’t the first time that Erdogan has been opposed by the masses; he’s often been referred to as a Prime Minister for the ‘fifty per cent’, regarding his 2011 win with fifty per-cent of the public vote.

 

With 500 police offers injured through the weeklong clashes with the protesters, it’s difficult to see a quick end in sight, especially when this isn’t the first outbreak of riots in the region.

 

‘There are two sides to the same coin,’ C.Higgot, spoke about the conflict, ‘half of the population being left out [in regards to the ‘fifty per cent’] spells revolutionary action…there must be a fair option and more than one choice in every situation.’ Conversely, T.Ralston claimed that ‘conflict isn’t inevitable,’ when discussing the same issue, and that ‘it’s how the people are treated as a whole that spells conflict.’ If only one point comes across as a certainty, however, it’s that the conflict we are now seeing in Turkey comes down to the fundamental issue of how the Government is run. From a strictly statistical point of view, it’s completely reasonable for Mr Erdogan to be elected into power, even with a slight majority of the votes. But when a large portion of the population feel this strongly about their governing body, it’s bound to lead to some form of conflict, peaceful or otherwise.

 

Scheherazade Rehman, director of the European Union Research Centre at George Washington University, spoke out about the initial hours of the Governments retaliation on the peaceful protests, stating that,  ‘People were in disbelief and panicked. They were running and looking back, running and looking back – at Taksim Square – not believing that the government had fired upon the crowds. The air began to smell funny – of tear gas.’ Rehman has gone as far as to declare it the ‘biggest anti-government demonstration in Turkey in over a decade’, after adding that there have been over ‘3,000 arrests’, ‘1,500 injured’, and now, ‘Turkey’s largest trade union groups are staging a strike’. Visiting Istanbul with her class of 30 George Washington University MBA Students, Rehman was in Taksim square on the Friday night when the ‘first tear gas canisters were fired into the crowd’, showing that not only was it Turkish protesters that felt the brunt of the Governments retaliation, but the tourists and students visiting the Square and its peaceful protest.

 

So what’s the coming weeks, or even days, hold for Turkey and Erdogan’s leadership? Comparing it to Syria takes it to a worst-case scenario, but with military force already in play, and the protesters only spurned on by the force used by its Governing body, you can’t help but draw up the similarities between the two once peaceful protests, turned anti-government conflict. Only time will tell if this spurns into another of the seemingly ceaseless conflicts occurring throughout the Eastern World, or a soon to be forgotten protest in a long history of political unrest.

 

Bibliography

Readers, G. (n.d.). What’s cause the protests in Turkey? Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2013/jun/04/turkey-protests-whats-happening-open-thread

Rehman, S. (n.d.). Scheherazade Rehman. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scheherazade-rehman

Rehman, S. (n.d.). The View From Takism Square: The Fight For Modern Turkey. Retrieved from http://www.usnews.com: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2013/06/06/eye-witness-account-of-anti-erdogan-istanbul-taksim-square-protests

Voorhees, J. (n.d.). What the heck is happening in Turkey? A FAQ for the Rest of Us. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/06/03/turkey_faq_what_s_happening_in_istanbul_will_recep_tayyip_erdogan_be_outsed.html

 

Lonely Planet Traveller: Ellesmere Port

Colloquially known as the ‘Wezzy’ by the locals, standing atop the rustic structure of it’s name sake bridge, the sun sets over the metallic railing of the train tracks, shortly followed by the chime and rattle of the carriage against the dirt trotted ground; the train leaves, and as you take in the musty air of the small Cheshire town, you suddenly feel as though you’re experiencing England for the first time, seeded in its industrial roots.

Situated in the south of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, Ellesmere Port was founded as an outlet to the sea from Ellesmere, Shropshire and Wales’ border. Today, the town is known more so for its Outlet Village, the UK’s largest outlet shopping centre, and at one point, the largest in Europe. From its plentitude of shops and leisure centres, such as the Vue Cinema and The Blue Planet Aquarium, it’s hard to imagine the humble roots of this city as one of the UK’s most important industrial centres, but evidence of its past remains. Far from the bustle of its Outlet Village, which rests on the outer boarder of the town, you slowly start to get a feel for what this town once was, as you abandon the restaurants and  shops, and enter its rural housing districts. With up and coming projects sprouting throughout the town, it seems like it won’t be long before all traces of industrialisation have been wiped clean, removed by Academy Buildings and Shopping Centre’s, making Ellesmere Port are rising tourism spot. But with that, we’re also loosing apart of what Britain used to be.

Even today, although diminishing, traces of its industrial roots remain.

So the question is, where do you begin? For the budding traveller hoping to experience Britain as it used to be, Ellesmere Port is key stopping point whilst travelling through what is debatably one of the most important urban/industrial areas the Britain, the Mersey. A night or two at its Travel Lodge, situated in a prime location only a five minute drive from the towns centre, and mere seconds from the towns Outlet Village, is an easy choice for a cheap yet luxurious nights stay. Of course, if you’re looking for something a little closer to home, the Port offers a plentitude of B&B’s throughout the towns vast housing estates and villages.

Whilst much of these shops have since been replaced, the structure and style still remain.

You won’t want to miss Ellesmere Ports famed National Waterways Boat Museum, for an intricate look into the makings of boat-building, or a detailed look into the history of the canals. The Museum itself has been feature of BBC4’s travel documentary, Behind the scenes at the Museum.

If a look into the true workings of Britain’s industry is what you’re after, then visiting Stanlow Oil Refinery is an experience you won’t soon forget. The second largest refinery in the UK, it has ran continuously for well over sixty years, and has been a source of work for the people of Ellesmere Port ever since.

Manchester Ship Canal as seen from Ellesmere Ports Boat Museum.

Or maybe you’d rather experience the local life of Ellesmere Port. Simply walking through the town will bring back any nostalgia from a simpler time in British history, and the locals are always happy to help when it comes to the odd direction or two.

So if you’re planning a trip through the British time-line, make sure to stop off at the aged town of Ellesmere Port to experience that history first hand.