June 5, 2013
The protests in Turkey have decreased in size and intensity since the weekend, but because Stratfor considers Turkey a key country, we have published a document – and shared it with readers – outlining the guidance our analysts should follow in tracking the protests. I decided that my blog followers should also get a glimpse of what we’re tracking, even if they are not Stratfor subscribers. The framework provided by this guidance will allow readers to make their own assessment of the situation as it unfolds. Here are the main rules to follow:
1) Maintain analytic discipline – keep track of any announcements calling for new protests but don’t forget that social media will tend to exaggerate numbers and events
2) Remember the silent majority – while protests in Taksim square dominate the media attention, they are not yet representing the majority. A detailed look within the country is important.
3) Watch for backlash – check for signs of backlash against the protesters. Demonstrations in Taksim Square have affected businesses and the more violent and distruptive the protests become, they risk being rebranded as criminals by AKP supporters.
4) Consider the divided opposition – bear in mind the deep divisions within the opposition and the impact the divisions may have on the protests
5) Closely monitor the Turkish media – bearing in mind which outlets were traditionally supporters of the government and which changed tone
6) Closely keep track of what the business community is doing – unions, business associations actions may have a strong impact on what follows
7) Watch the military reactions to the protests
8) Watch the Kurdish camp of protesters, bearing in mind the implications for Erdogan’s future plans. This recent video discussion by Reva Bhalla covers this topic in further detail.
The points above are of course just a summary of what the guidance document contains, as it is published now onsite.Antonia Colibasanu