Turkish prime minister appeals for calm following weekend of violent clashes; Pentagon budget cuts won't undermine US plans for Asian defense, says Hagel; new Pakistani parliament takes control; US finds no evidence in Russia to suggest Boston bombers could have been detected earlier; and more
Top of the Agenda: Turkey Enters Seventh Day of Protests
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday suggested that the anti-government protestors rioting for the seventh day in the capital of Istanbul were extremists with foreign links, appealing for calm as the country's stock market tumbled after a weekend of violent clashes (FT) centered around Taksim Square. Protestors say the Turkish government is becoming increasingly authoritarian (BBC), and fear Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) is attempting to impose conservative Islamic values on the officially secular country. The White House called for parties in Turkey to "calm the situation," and called on security forces in Turkey to exercise restraint (AP). Nearly two thousand people have been detained.
"Turkey's anti-democratic turn has all taken place without much notice from the outside world. It was not just coercive measures -- arrests, investigations, tax fines, and imprisonments -- that Washington willfully overlooked in favor of a sunnier narrative about the 'Turkish miracle,'" write CFR's Steven Cook and Michael Koplow for Foreign Policy.
"If any, the protests that began in Istanbul, and spread to other cities, is a loud manifestation of a desire to see an end to any social engineering, or a lifestyle format created in hierarchical order — a social identity, a majority, acting in a superior manner over the others in daily life," writes Yavuz Baydar for Al-Monitor.
"That will have consequences in politics as Turkey is getting prepared for the Presidential elections in 2014 and Erdogan has been eyeing to get elected, but with more powers and less checks and balances over the executive powers of presidency," writes Murat Yetkin for Hurriyet.
Defense Chief Hagel Reassures Asian Allies
At the Shangri-la security summit in Singapore this past weekend, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sought to reassure Asian allies (VOA) that U.S. plans to concentrate more military assets in the region would not be undermined by Pentagon budget cuts. Hagel also publicly chided China for alleged cyber espionage (WaPo).
CHINA: China urged the United States to "stop interfering in its affairs " (BBC) after the United States called for a full accounting of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown days ahead of the June 4 anniversary.
New Pakistani parliament takes control
Boston bombers could not have been detected earlier, evidence suggests
This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org.