Why do Turkish people?
To all those who were sympathetic to the protests in Turkey, it can sometimes feel like you're living in a different world from your opponents. After all, the media portrays you as artistic freedom loving environmentalist freedom fighters. They tell you time and time again that this is the Turkish spring and that you are the voice of the new young and free Turks leading your country back from the abyss of an autocratic and out of touch dictator. So why don't the others see this? How could they possibly support Erdogan? Well, here are a few reasons (in no particular order) that I hope might help you understand why the majority of the Muslim world support Erdogan and not your protests.
1. Because the support of Islamophobes troubles us
To even the most jaded Muslim, it is disconcerting to see the whole-hearted support that the protesters have received from the who's who of the neo-conservative and Islamophobic worlds. Most of these people have never once expressed an interest in Turkey except to decry any attempts for the nation to get more in touch with Islam. The fact that Robert Spencer (compared Muslims to Nazis), Pamella Geller (says Mecca and Madīnah can be bombed), the Greek government (won't allow the building of mosques) and Israel (no introduction needed) think that the protests are a good idea should make you reflect on exactly what they hope the protests will achieve.
2. Because the bias shown by the Western media is suspicious
The protesters were understandably upset when their actions didn't make it on to all the Turkish TV stations. In fact, one of the abiding themes of the protest has been centered around the farce of one station showing a documentary on penguins instead of the protests. However, exactly the opposite situation took hold outside of Turkey with most Western media outlets giving non-stop rolling coverage of the protests and hastily dubbing it the “Turkish spring.” The bias was so stark that there was hardly any attempt at finding the opinion of the pro-Erdogan public. Add to this the complete lack of coverage of similar protests in Bangladesh (this time the protesters were Islamic orientated and thousands were actually killed during a media blackout) and you get more than a whiff of hypocrisy at play.
3. Because of the breath-taking hypocrisy of others
The European Union and others have quickly stood up to berate Turkey and Erdogan for the way they have handled the protests. It is true that the death of protesters (and a policeman) is unjustifiable and tragic. But Europe and America have had their fair share of protests in the past few years and they have dealt with them in a remarkably similar manner. Whether it is the anti-austerity riots in Athens, the Occupy protest on Wall Street or the student riots in London, the playbook has been exactly the same. So why have Turkey and Erdogan being singled out for criticism? Can it be that there is another agenda at play here? Many of us fear this is the case.