Turks Want Freedom, Bulgarians Electricity
What sparked the protests in Turkey were plans to cut down trees in Taksim Square. The environmentalists' enthusiasm quickly spread to those who are dissatisfied with Erdogan's authoritarian style of leadership. Turkish protesters are demanding a dialogue with the authorities and an apology for the police violence. Turks are protesting for their rights.
What sparked the protests in Bulgaria this winter were high electricity bills. People were angry with monopolies, parking fees, low wages, unemployment, high food prices. Bulgarians protested just because they want to survive.
Protests have something in common all over the world: they express people's anger. But they differ in their goals and perspectives.
The Turkish protests have a long-term goal: democracy.
Bulgaria’s protests had a short-term one: we want to be able to pay our bills.
Turkey’s protests have been backed by the country’s intellectuals, who even put the blame for being way too patient with those in power on their own shoulders.
Bulgaria’s intellectuals also took to the streets, but in the name of a much more prosaic cause – for or against the ban on smoking indoors.
Unless we start protesting for or against ideas, the problem with the bills will hang forever.
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