Here is an excellent article providing some background to the recent surge in Turkish anti-government protests. Notably, the author also takes a stand against those who like to jump to the conclusion that we are witnessing “the seeds of a Turkish spring”. I would contend that one may even go one step further in saying that we are witnessing the inverse of an Arab spring. Whereas the Arab springs were fed by discontent over decades of stagnation, this protest focusses on the rapid change taking place in Turkey both in its economy and in society. Whereas Mubarak and Ben Ali, were toppled by a population fed up with their global/Western orientation, the Turkish protesters are attacking Erdogan for being overly Anatolian. Whereas the former rulers of the “Arab Spring” countries were chided for being too secular, the AKP is regarded as too religious (the Taksim protest being directed, in part, against Erdogan’s long-time pet project of rebuilding a mosque in the square).
One thing both protest movements appear to target is cronyism by the ruling party. Then again, it will be hard to find a country were that is not high on the list of popular qualms.