What Emerged in the Gezi Park Occupation in Istanbul?
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.
KeywordsGezi Park protest Neoliberal urbanism Occupy movements New political subjectivities
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