Category Archives: Essays

Jadaliyya: It is about the Park: A struggle for Turkey’s cities

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It is with alarming regularity that I read coverage of the protests and ensuing police brutality that erupted in Gezi Park and Taksim Square, Istanbul that emphatically insists that the confrontations are about “so much more than a park.” Reassuring their readers that the protests are not about something as silly or simple as the defense of a small park [...] → Read the full article…

Jadaliyya: #resistankara: Notes of a woman resisting

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Thousands of women filled the streets and squares in Ankara and took them back: spraying anti-teargas solutions in someone’s eyes, picking up the trash, advising people not to use swear words, but still talking, screaming, not keeping silent, swallowing, and walking, and walking again. The Gezi Park protests can be, and are being, analyzed in multiple ways. Meanwhile, on its [...] → Read the full article…

Jadaliyya: ‘Ottomanalgia’ and the protests in Turkey

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It was the sixth day since a peaceful sit-in had begun in Gezi Park in Istanbul to protect the last remaining green space in the center of the city. Protests had spread throughout the country due to the excessive use of force by police, including tear gas, water cannons, and plastic bullets against protesters from various backgrounds. On this same [...] → Read the full article…

Jadaliyya: The spring of Turkey, the fall of Erdogan

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s insistence on demolishing Gezi Park and building a shopping mall on it was only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the causes behind the demonstrations that have shaken Turkey. The real reason is composed of three elements: rising authoritarianism, declining secularism, and stalled democratization. On 28 December 2011 at 9:37 pm, [...] → Read the full article…

Al Jazeera: Why Turks are good at protesting – Zeynep Zileli Rabanea

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“Quick, we need volunteer doctors in Taksim!” posted one user on Facebook, followed by a thousand shares and people responding with contacts from all over Turkey. Another published a series of phone numbers of lawyers offering free legal help to the detainees. A worried woman wrote: “Please stop posting phone numbers of lawyers, the police is busting them as we [...] → Read the full article…

Erdogan as Putin

The recent and sometimes violent protests in Turkey’s major cities invite parallels to the mass protest movements of the Arab Spring. Yet this comparison is superficial at best. In fact, the biggest risk for the United States is not that Turkey, a key American ally, will experience revolution, chaos or political opening. Rather, it is that these protests have the [...] → Read the full article…

Birgün: The Aesthetics of Resistance-Burhan Sönmez

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The Aesthetics of Resistance 1.Stars shine better in utmost darkness. Stars are shining everywhere against the darkness of this country. 2.Homeless teenagers living in the Taksim area have been asking how long the resistance is going to last, because apparently they’re treated to meals thanks to the communal life of the protesters there. The same government that makes a fuss [...] → Read the full article…

Guardian: Erdoğan’s reaction to Turkey protests reveals ominous Putin parallels

“Erdoğan’s polarising tactics might have come straight from the Putin playbook. Instead of talking to the demonstrators – a diverse and previously non-political bunch – he has blamed the protests on a murky foreign conspiracy. Many critical journalists are already in jail and on Tuesday Erdoğan denounced the international media. His ruling Islamist-rooted Justice and Development party (AKP) has made [...] → Read the full article…

Citizens of the world and citizens of Turkey – the Occupy Gezi protests

While the question of whether Turkey represents the ‘model of successful melding democracy and Islam’, or an identity of a radically secular regime, may be significant part of public discourse, the emphasis needs to shift on how society and individual relations are regulated. Following several days of police raids on the protesters participating in a sit-in in Istanbul’s Gezi Park [...] → Read the full article…