Waving Turkish and American flags and holding signs written in the Turkish language, more than 70 people marched down Bloomington’s Kirkwood Avenue on Monday afternoon to show support for anti-government protestors in Turkey.
Indiana University graduate student Erkin Kuru, a native of Turkey, helped organize the march through Bloomington. He gathered the group together through social media to show Bloomington’s support for his friends and family back home.
“One major goal is to send these pictures to our brothers and sisters on the street right now to show them that you are not alone, we are here,” Kuru says.
The demonstrators gathered first at IU’s Sample Gates and marched to the Monroe County Courthouse after a spokesperson made a brief statement and took questions.
In the Turkish capital of Istabul, NPR and other international news agencies report the demonstrations began as “a small environmental sit-in.” But after police broke up the protest with tear gas, thousands of anti-government protestors took to the streets to protest the policies of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.
As The Wall Street Journal puts it, the protests threaten “the political stability of a key U.S. ally.”
The Independent reports Erdogan dismissed reports that called the protests “the Turkish Spring” during a Monday news conference. That’s a reference to the “Arab Spring” protests that have upended sitting governments in Tunisia, Yemen, Libya and Egypt.