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'Muslim Anti-Capitalists' defy government portrayal of Turkey protesters

'Muslim Anti-Capitalists' defy government portrayal of Turkey protesters
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Anti-government protesters in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on Wednesday night included Muslim groups on one of the holiest nights in the Islamic calendar.

The government has tried to portray demonstrators as left-wing ideologists and predominantly secular.

But the protests have drawn a wide diversity of people. One group known as the “Muslim Anti-Capitalists” were present at the rally.

Some denounced moves to restrict the sale and promotion of alcohol – and the prime minister’s condemnation of people drinking in public.

“They say to us what are you doing, people are drunk. We answer: let them be drunk, we can get along with them as long as they’re not dangerous!” Ihsan Eliaçik, a religious author known for his outspoken criticism of capitalism, told the crowd.

Some protesters tried to burn the national flags of Israel and the United States – but were prevented from doing so by the crowd.

Most wanted the target of the rally to be firmly fixed on Turkey’s government – and what they see as its conservative Islamic values.