Riots sweep Turkey, slaughterhouse blaze kills Chinese workers, and John Kerry takes on two of the world’s most complex conflicts. Today is Monday, June 3, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.
Anti-government protesters clash with riot police as they try to march to the office of Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, early June 3, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer. Click here for more photos.
Thousands jailed over Turkey’s most violent riots in decades. Protesters rallied in Ankara following days of violent demonstrations by tens of thousands throughout Turkey, prompted initially by the government’s plan to demolish Gezi Park and stoked by citizen concerns that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is taking advantage of his power:
Now in his last term as prime minister, Erdogan is trying to leave his stamp on Turkey by recasting foreign policy, overhauling the constitution and even transforming the ancient Istanbul skyline. But some, including former supporters, accuse him of growing increasingly authoritarian, muzzling the media, tightening his AK party’s grip on state institutions and putting religion at the center of politics in violation of Turkey’s secular constitution.
Hundreds were injured in the weekend clashes as riot police fired tear gas at demonstrators and piles of rubble blocked entry to the area. Steven A. Cook and Michael Koplow write in Foreign Policy that the protests should alert Washington that Turkey is not as democratic as it appears. Erdogan blamed the protests on “extremist elements” and called for calm, as Turkish markets slumped in response to the chaos.