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Three-way conversation in Istanbul

Members of resistance movements from Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia come together on Gezi Radyo to compare experiences, discuss ways to cooperate and debate how to build a better future.

Gezi Radyo organized a mid-August meeting between members of the three resistance movements for change from Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey:

  • Sameh Naguib, co-founder of Egypt’s Revolutionary Socialists
  • Souheil Idoudi 
from Tunisia’s Union of Unemployed Graduates (UDC)
  • Foti Benlisoy from Turkey’s Müştereklerimiz movement
  • The discussion, on how mutual comparison and exchange of their experiences could help them organize better for the future, is hosted by Annalena di Giovanni.

    The participants in the conversation are sitting in Cairo, Tunis and Istanbul respectively. You may hear some background noise – that’s from Souheil’s location, a few meters away from the demonstrations in front of the Constitutional Assembly in Tunis.

    In this first part of their conversation, just over 20 minutes long, they reflect on how the rulers of their respective countries are misrepresenting the protests in which they are each involved in the key struggle to win the hearts and minds of the national majority; how to go beyond the polarized ‘war on culture’ between Islamists and secularists; how to cooperate; and what to do to advance the social and economic demands in each situation, building on strikes, strengthening relationships between labour unions and unemployed and precarious youth.

    Annalena di Giovanni, openDemocracy author, hosts the conversation and does the English voice-over translation for Souheil Idouhi.

    Gezi Radio started broadcasting from Taksim Gezi park on 8 June this year, shortly after the first protest events took place there.

    This discussion is dedicated to ‘a special thought to our sisters and brothers resisting in Tunisia and Egypt this very moment’. Thanks to Annalena and Gezy Radyo, Menapolis and Kawakibi Center for Transitional Democracy for initiating this timely and thought-provoking exchange.

    About the authors

    Annalena di Giovanni is a researcher based between Beirut and Istanbul.

    Foti Benlisoy, from Müştereklerimiz, is a historian and co-founder of the Greek-Turkish publishing house Istos. He has published a book on the protests of Greece, Tunisia and Egypt and has an upcoming about the Gezi movement - both in Turkish.

    Sameh Naguib is a sociologist, writer and leading member of the Revolutionary Socialist Movement in Egypt.

    Souheil Idoudi is the representative of the Union de Diplomats Chomeurs of Tunisia - the Union of Unemployed Graduates - and was speaking from the sit-in held in Tunis in front of the Constitutional Assembly to demand for its dissolution.


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