The Turkish Riots


The young may riot,
the old have seen it all before.
The young will not keep quiet,
the old have been to war.
The middle-aged have most to lose
but they could choose to make a change;
they control the middle-ground,
they could rock the boat,
they have the clout
to vote the politicians out.

The poor may riot,
the rich with millions, billions can ignore
the poor who won’t keep quiet.
The rich just find it such a bore.
The middle-income group have most to lose
but they could choose to make a noise,
they control the middle ground,
they could call the state to task,
they could declaim iniquity
and ask for much more honesty.


The police have attacked
in Taksim Square
where volleys of tear gas
cloud the air, sparing no-one,
dispersing the masses,
the rioting crowds
campaigning for two weeks now.
The original protest in Gezi Park
had quickly started to escalate
against Mister Erdogan,
the authoritarian,
imposing conservative Islamic ways
on the secular Turkish state.

The veneer is thin
in this ‘civilised’ world
where riots erupt
bursting with pus of infection
lurking beneath society’s skin.
In times of oppression,
when inequities are magnified
the veneer struggles to survive,
a country’s future is unsure
the young may riot
and the old have seen it all before.


10th June 2013Notes:  “Turkey protests: Riot police storm Taksim Square.”  Turkish riot police have moved into Istanbul’s Taksim Square, which has been occupied by anti-government protesters for close to two weeks.  Officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets, leading many protesters to flee the square into adjoining Gezi Park, where many have been camping.  Some activists responded by hurling fireworks, fire bombs and stones at police.  The unrest began after a police crackdown on a protest over Gezi Park.  The protests then widened, with demonstrators accusing Mr Erdogan’s government of becoming increasingly authoritarian and trying to impose conservative Islamic values on a secular state.

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