Ashgabat, 26 June 2013 (nCa) — No training is required in deciphering the hieroglyphics: These protests are not for the love of Turkey; they are for the hatred of Erdogan.
There are quite a few ways to deal with this jiggery-pokery. Here are some of them:
1. Show the price people are paying for these protests: Calculate the losses being caused by these protests in terms of economic setback, erosion in national prestige, disturbance of daily life, pollution, strain on civil and municipal services, discouragement of investments and tourism, and other direct and indirect losses because of these protests.
Then, project these losses over a period of three months, six months, and a year.
Then, work out a total sum for each period of computation and also calculate per household losses because of these protests.
Then, go the people, showing them the losses they are suffering because of the highhandedness of a tiny fraction of the population, and ask them through a carefully designed referendum whether the government should all legal means to put a full stop to these protests.
2. Make the people laugh at them: This is the easiest and most effective way to make these protests disappear in a jiffy. The trained protestors are willing to suffer some showers from the truck but they cannot stand in the face of ridicule by their peers.
However, this can only be done by the youth supporting AKP and Erdogan. Any direct involvement of the government and it will have a negative effect. The best thing is to raise the idea to those who can do it on their own.
If you make fun of someone resourcefully, it hits where it hurts the most.
3. Hire the street entertainers: This is a slight variation of the method of making mockery of protestors. Hire dozens of street entertainers to fill any vacant space in Taksim square and similar grounds in other cities. Don’t do it directly. Just encourage the people who support AKP to do it on their own. The entertainers can spice their acts with a bit of laugh at the expense of the protestors and their authors. This will nullify the protests because on any given day, people will prefer to watch a juggler rather than an angry young man spewing profanities.
Position the entertainers in such a way that any TV cameras covering the protests will be forced to show the entertainment going on in the background. Meanwhile, ask the police to ignore the protestors.
4. Encourage people to hold weddings ceremonies in protest areas: If by a silent and mutual agreement (of course, without any direction by AKP) people start holding their weddings ceremonies in the protest areas, this would provide an excellent visual contrast i.e. angry protestors shouting ridiculously in the vicinity of wedding parties. When these images are beamed to the people, the support base of the protestors will start evaporating pretty fast.
The central point is that if there is a fire at point A, don’t try to put it out. Instead, create counter-fire at points B and C. Bounce their tactics back to them. As they say in Farsi, don’t give them either a place to sit or a foot to leave.
Keeping this idea in mind, one can come up any number of countermeasures, assuming that the collective imagination in AKP ranks is greater than that of the authors of the protests.
If all else fails, there is always the option of snap elections. Erdogan with his 48% popularity rating and his rival at 7%, AKP stands would be sure to win. However, if the protests are allowed to continue indefinitely, this may result in shift of voter preference over a period of a year or so.
The opposition is aiming at chipping away at the popularity of AKP in general and Eerdogan in particular in preparation for the presidential elections next year. Theirs is a single point agenda: Anyone but Erdogan.
It is a clear cut case of hatred for Erdogan, not love for Turkey.
To be continued . . .