The unrest is unlikely to become a “Turkish Spring,” but it is testing democracy in Turkey.
Prime Minister Erdogan temporarily placated Turkish protesters by pausing development of Gezi Park, but their grievances run deeper. It will take more to stop demonstrations for good.
Swimming goggles and 'V for Vendetta' masks cropped up in street vendors' hands within days of the first demonstrations in Taksim Square.
The ongoing clashes in Istanbul's Taksim Square have exposed the fault lines running between those want to protect secular values and those who want to introduce more Islam into public life.
Prime Minister Erdogan decried antigovernment protesters as 'vagabonds' and 'extremists.' Critics acknowledge his success in driving Turkey's spectacular growth, but say he has become autocratic.
Any protest movement that insists on a leaderless, non-ideological approach to political change is unlikely to accomplish much.