What Emerged in the Gezi Park Occupation in Istanbul?

  • Asu AksoyEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Communication for Social Change book series (PSCSC)


What Emerged in the Gezi Park Occupation in Istanbul? Asu Aksoy examines how Gezi Park in Istanbul was turned into a space where politics and being political subjects were reinvented as protestors trying to stop the demolition of the park met with massive and deadly police crackdown. Through their detourning actions of the urban space of Gezi Park, the occupiers, during the Summer of 2013, injected a completely unexpected handling of that space, challenging the dominant spatial logic of the state. In reconfiguring this particular space, the neoliberal logic that sutured the entire city edifice was made visible. People from all walks of life and political divides occupying the park, and subsequently in neighbourhood forums across the city, discovered their hitherto obscured qualities, such as being able to engage with each other, in solidarity across identity and political divides. AK Party’s cultural politics, which was seeking to resurrect a long-demolished Ottoman garrison building at the heart of modern Istanbul’s symbolic centre, could not prevail at that time.


Gezi Park protest Neoliberal urbanism Occupy movements New political subjectivities 


  1. Abbas, T., and İ.H. Yiğit. 2015. Scenes from Gezi Park: Localisation, Nationalism and Globalisation in Turkey. City 19 (1): 61–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Altınay, A.G. 2013. Direnenlerin pedagojisi: Gezi okulundan öğrendiklerim (9 Haziran 2013). In Gezi, İsyan, Özgürlük: Sokağın Şenlikli Muhalefeti, ed. K. İnal, 294–311. Istanbul: Ayrıntı Yayınları.Google Scholar
  3. Bassett, K. 2014. Rancière, Politics, and the Occupy Movement. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 32: 886–901.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bora, T. 1995. “Fatih”in İstanbul“u”: “İslâm şehri” ile “dünya şehri” arasında İslâmcıların İstanbul rüyası. Birikim 76: 44–53.Google Scholar
  5. Can, E. 2014. Adını direniş Gezisi koyduk. In Ajanda 2014/#Diren Direniş, ed. Müge Gürsoy Sokmen. Istanbul: Metis Yayınları.Google Scholar
  6. Coward, M. 2012. “Between us in the city: materiality, subjectivity, and community in the era of global urbanization.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 30: 468–481.Google Scholar
  7. Dikeç, M. 2005. Space, Politics, and the Political. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 23: 171–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Eken, B. 2014. The Politics of the Gezi Park Resistance: Against Memory and Identity. South Atlantic Quarterly 113 (2): 427–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Güven, Y. 2013. Bir Gezi Günlüğü: Hayat Şimdiki Zamanda Geçmişi De Taşır. Yeni Film 30–31: 41–49.Google Scholar
  10. Hodkinson 2012. “The new urban enclosures.” City 16 (5): 500–518.Google Scholar
  11. İnceoğlu, İ. 2014. The Gezi Resistance and its Aftermath. Eurozine, September 17. Accessed 28 Nov 2016.
  12. İnceoğlu, İ. 2015. Encountering Difference and Radical Democratic Trajectory: An Analysis of Gezi Park as Public Space. City 19 (4): 534–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kaika, M. and L. Karaliotas. 2014. “The spatialization of democratic politics: Insights from Indignant Squares.” European Urban and Regional Studies. doi: 10.1177/0969776414528928.
  14. Koyuncu, S. 2013. Mustafa İsen’le Muhafazakar Sanat Üzerine. Türkiye, March 17.Google Scholar
  15. Kuyucu, T., and Ö. Ünsal. 2010. ‘Urban Transformation’ as State-Led Property Transfer: An Analysis of Two Cases of Urban Renewal in Istanbul. Urban Studies. doi: 10.1177/0042098009353629.Google Scholar
  16. Rancière, J. 2006. Hatred of Dermocracy. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  17. Rancière, J. 2010. Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  18. Sassen, S. 2011. The Global Street: Making the Political. Globalizations 8 (5): 573–579.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Swyngedouw, E. 2011. Every Revolution has its Square: Politicizing the Post-Political City. In Urban Constellations, ed. Matthew Gandy. Berlin: Jovis Boos.Google Scholar
  20. Swyngedouw, E. 2012. Every Revolution has its Square: From Badlands of the Republic to Claiming the Polis. Political Geography 31 (5): 324–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Swyngedouw, E. 2014. Where is the Political? Insurgent Mobilisations and Incipient “Return of the Political”. Space and Polity 18 (2): 122–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Tuğal, C. 2013. Resistance Everywhere: The Gezi Revolt in Global Perspective. New Perspectives on Turkey 49: 157–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arts And Cultural Management Department, Faculty of CommunicationsIstanbul Bilgi UniversityIstanbulTurkey

Personalised recommendations