The gezi park resistance from an environmental justice and social metabolism perspective

Begüm Özkaynak, Cem Iskender Aydn, Pnar Ertör-Akyaz, Irmak Ertör

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The Gezi Park demonstrations that took place from June 2013 onwards across Turkey generated widespread interest and coverage. The collective spirit at Gezi Park confirmed once again that online activism complements traditional means of protests well and as such renders citizen activism more powerful. At Gezi Park, it was crucial to have activists pour into the center, followed by social media efforts that carried the protests beyond the Park, beyond Istanbul, and even beyond Turkey, all within hours. The Turkish police force is well known for its brutality in dealing with demonstrations unwelcomed by the government, and so Gezi protestors had to deal with various forms of repression, such as extreme violence and arrests. On June 15, the park was cleared of all protestors by brutal police force, ultimately bringing an end to the peaceful occupation. Finally, the Gezi protests went beyond environmental resistance, and played an instrumental role in bringing social movements from diverse backgrounds together for the first time, enabling them to get to know one another better and raise a strong, united voice against the current political-economic system. It reminded people that democracy is not only about elections and majoritarian principles but also about fighting for the democratic rights of all. This whole process marked perhaps the beginning of a collective alternative social imaginary that is largely missing in Turkey, and demonstrated that there is still hope and potential for change beyond the capitalist and neoliberal imperatives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)99-114
    JournalCapitalism, Nature, Socialism
    Volume26
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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