‘There are people’, I read in the statement by the organizers of a Twitter protest, ‘who are not afraid to say they don’t approve of the way the country is being managed by the Prime Minister.’ An intriguing sentence.
Let me tell you first what the protest was about. Yesterday during the day and even more so from 9pm on, many Turks on twitter started posting tweets with the ‘hashtag’ #notayyip. A hashtag is a word added to a tweet following a # and it’s used to follow the tweets about a certain event or topic. Tayyip is the first name of Prime Minister Erdogan, so #notayyip means the Turks using this hashtag don’t like the way Erdogan runs the country, to say the least. The aim of using the hashtag by as many people as possible at the same time, was to get into the ‘world wide trending topics’: the ten most used hashtags in the world. That way they could draw attention both in Turkey and even world-wide to their anti-Tayyip opinion.
I immediately wondered why the organizers would want to point out that there are people in Turkey not afraid of criticizing the Prime Minister. So, are there people afraid of doing that, and why? I asked around on twitter using the #notayyip hashtag, but didn’t get too many responses. So I can’t say anything general about all these people that joined in, but it seems that people are not actually afraid, but they feel their voice is not really heard. Seems to me that’s one of the outcomes of Turkey getting more and more polarized these days.
I followed the #notayyip hashtag for about two hours yesterday night. Everybody added a reason why they want ‘no Tayyip’, and it made me frown and laugh. The way Tayyip tries to influence the media, his Islamic background, the way he reacted to the Flotilla being raided by Israel, and many funny reasons that I can’t explain here because you would need to know more details about the news in Turkey.
In the end, by the way, the hashtag #notayyip didn’t make it to the world-wide trending topics. The hashtags about the Paraguay-Japan World Cup match got in the way.
If anybody reading this joined the #notayyip protest, please don’t hesitate to tell me here why you did!