Turkey: Kissing Protest in Ankara

After a subway official chastised a young couple in Ankara for kissing in public, internet activists organized a small flashmob at the Kurtulu┼č metro station in the Turkish capital, where lots of couples engaged in a public display of affection. They attracted the ire of a group of religious men, but were protected by the police.

Liveleakvideo has raw footage:

Turkey’s society is deeply divided between urban middle and upper middle class youth who differ little from their European peers in their interests and activities, and more conservative small-town populations or rural labor migrants into the big cities, whose mores are more like those of people elsewhere in the Middle East. Of course, there are small-town secularists and big-city fundamentalists, too– it is a big complex society of 74 million people (falling between France and Germany demographically).

Since 2002, a conservative, pro-market government tinged with religious commitments has been in power, after decades of rule by militantly secular governments that favored a large public sector. The eclipse of secularism has caused deep resentments and grievances among some in the urban middle classes.

4 Responses

  1. Turkey may be ahead of the curve on these issues in the Muslim world. Egypt is seeing some of the same. We’ll see what Algerian and Libyan society faces soon enough. But, from an American perspective, we may have missed the curve altogether, as our young people may have to protest having sex in public vis-a-vis merely kissing. The question, whether or not the two are cointegrated behavioral characteristics?

    • “Turkey may be ahead of the curve on these issues in the Muslim world.”

      Since the reforms implemented by Ataturk, Turkey has always been ahead of the curve on such issues in the Muslim World.

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