Ruben Safrastyan: Riots in Turkey might turn against ethnic and religious minorities

Artak Barseghyan

The riots in Turkey indicate that the political life of the country has irreversibly entered a new stage, Director of the Oriental Studies Institute of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences Ruben Safrastyan told reporters today.

According to him, the new stage in Turkey’s political life will have far-reaching consequences. The Occupy Gezi movement was a good lesson for the Erdogan-led Justice and Development Party, which made the authorities take account of the public opinion, Safrastyan said.

The events in Turkey precede the presidential and local self-government elections expected in Turkey next year. Before that the country is set to adopt a new Constitution, which will strengthen the role of the president’s institute.

The latest developments come to prove that PM Erdogan’s aspirations for presidency may remain unrealized, as he’s unable to listen to the voice of the society.

The rallies the supporters of the Justice and Development Party intend to organize in Ankara and Istanbul may lead to unpredictable consequences in case of clashes with the protesters in Gezi Park.

Taking into account the lessons of history, Safrastyan does not rule out that the current riots might turn against the national and religious minorities, and the danger should not be ignored.

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