[Marxism] Turk hurls shoe at IMF chief

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Oct 2 11:02:16 MDT 2009

NY Times, October 2, 2009
Another Shoe Flies, This Time in Istanbul at I.M.F. Chief

ISTANBUL — A protester threw a shoe at the managing director of the 
International Monetary Fund at the end of his speech at a university on 
Thursday in the prelude to I.M.F. and World Bank meetings in Istanbul.

The protester, Selcuk Ozbek, a student at Anadolu University, shouted, 
“Get out of the university, I.M.F. thief!” threw a white sneaker and ran 
toward the podium where the managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, 
stood. But televised images showed Mr. Ozbek being quickly tackled by 
security guards.

A female student then tried to unfurl a banner but was surrounded by 
security officials, allowing Mr. Strauss-Kahn to calmly answer a last 
question before leaving the hall.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn played down the episode. “I was glad to meet students 
and hear their views,” he said in a written statement released 
afterward. “This is what the I.M.F. needs to do, even if not everyone 
agrees with us. One thing I learned: Turkish students are polite. They 
waited until the end to complain.”

He filed no official complaint, and Mr. Ozbek was freed by the police 
later in the evening.

“I think this is how global capital should be welcomed wherever it 
goes,” Mr. Ozbek told NTV on a live broadcast. “The anti-imperialist 
youth of any country responsible for their future should act this way.”

Mr. Ozbek said his shoe was returned to him after his protest.

Like his inspiration, Muntader al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who threw 
shoes in December at President George W. Bush in Baghdad, Mr. Ozbek, 24, 
works at a news outlet. He is a full-time editor on the politics desk at 
Birgun, a left-wing daily, his department confirmed.

The hurled shoe lost speed after it hit a seated student posing a 
question with a microphone in hand, and so it missed the director, 
slow-motion television pictures showed. But while a Turkish shoe company 
claimed to have made Mr. Zaidi’s shoe — a statement that promptly 
increased its sales worldwide — Mr. Ozbek’s shoe was reported to have 
been made by Nike.

Halil Guven, the dean of Bilgi University, where the event occurred, 
said that the university was used to protests because it often served as 
a site for controversial speeches and events.

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