The spatial analysis of gezi movement in Turkey
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CitationEryılmaz, Ç. (2017). The spatial analysis of Gezi Movement in Turkey. In Public Spaces: Times of Crisis and Change. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
During Gezi Protests of June 2013, hundred thousands of people from different and even opposite groups were together on the streets of Turkey against government for a month. The abruptness, severity, diversity and creativity of Gezi Movement make it unique among urban movements in Turkey. Protesters not only challenged the police violence and authoritarian policies but also defended public spaces of their city. My analysis of Gezi Movement is based on the comparison of Lefebvre, Harvey, and Bookchin who all integrated the critique of capitalism and revolutionary vision into urban movements. However, they are different in terms of what revolution, city, class, citizen, and urban social movements are. Gezi Movement is discussed through the similarities and differences of three approaches. Gezi Movement is a good example of New Social Movements which lacks an organization, hierarchy and a leader. As an urban movement it provided a glimpse of heterotopia of Lefebvre where many different groups and identities challenge the abstract space of neoliberal capitalism. The protesters, as the producers and the consumers of urban commons claimed Gezi Park and Taksim Square as Harvey stated. The transformation of protests into neighborhood forums despite losing power and participation shows the civic potential of urban movement that may develop direct democracy of citizens as a revolutionary alternative to capitalism. The spatial analysis of Gezi Movement provided insight to the revolutionary potential of urban movements in neoliberal age.