Turkish PM Erdogan sees himself leading "Turkish Spring"

June 3, 2013 23:38

ISTANBUL - If there is a "Turkish Spring" to rival the pro-democracy uprisings that swept the Middle East, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan believes that he, and not protesters in Istanbul, is leading it.

Erdogan has used his blustering, assertive style and a common touch that courts the conservative Islamic heartland to dominate Turkish politics like no leader since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded the modern secular republic in 1923.But four days of the fiercest anti-government protests for years have shocked even Erdogan loyalists, and raised questions over whether an authoritarian personal style now threatens democratic reforms from the early days of his decade in power. Opposition that has had little voice in an Erdogan-dominated parliament appears to be spilling now onto the streets.

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