The government-critical Taksim protest movement that has rocked much of Turkey in the last two weeks has led to an intensified focus of Western media, including French news outlets, on Turkey’s rising urban dissident movement. France is after Germany the home to one of the globe’s largest Turkish and Kurdish diasporas with around 500.000 people residing there. The reaction of both diaspora communities in regards to the Taksim protest movement has widely been left uncovered by most Western media reports. Zaman France went to meet a number of French of Turkish origin in order to understand their viewpoints on the protests.
Of those interviewed and later published, virtually everyone had a critical opinion on the protestors and their right as well as motivation to protest. Many of the young French of Turkish origin consider the AKP to be the legitimate and democratic voice of the people, thus holding the right to make decisions that might eventually be opposed by ‘marginal groups’ for the greater good of the nation. For many diasporic Turks it seems that the AKP’s global economic success and renewed sense of national pride that has evolved out of it provides justification for even some authoritarian decisions of the state.