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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2019

Ozum Ucok-Sayrak and David M. Deiuliis

This paper aims to discuss the role of social media during the Gezi Park protests (2013) in Turkey in facilitating and promoting the expression of what matters to the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the role of social media during the Gezi Park protests (2013) in Turkey in facilitating and promoting the expression of what matters to the protestors in a communicative environment where most traditional media turned away from reporting the events. Furthermore, the role of social media in promoting “interspaces” (Arendt, 1955/1983) and constructing “communicative dwellings” that maintain public conversation of diverse ideas during the Gezi Park events (Arnett et al., 2014, p. 14) is highlighted.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use the framework of communication ethics and conflict offered by Arnett et al. (2014) that highlights the importance of recognizing “the goods that matter to oneself and others” (p. 17) in a conflict situation.

Findings

Notwithstanding its potential for misinformation, social media was the only reliable option for Gezi Park protesters. During the Gezi Park protests, social media facilitated the creation of interspaces through which people could make sense of, share, and interactively negotiate meanings about the protests through dialogue. During the Gezi Park protests, social media served both as an alternative source of information and a platform for sharing what people protect and promote that allowed for the construction of multiple narratives of resistance. Social media revealed the many components of the protests collected under the label of Gezi Park. In this historical moment of narrative and virtue contention, it becomes crucial for leaders to sense what matters to oneself and others if conflict is to be constructively engaged, allowing for increased insight and productivity.

Originality/value

Although there are various studies on Gezi Park protests and the use of social media, there is no discussion related to communication ethics. In this paper, the authors used the communication ethics framework offered by Arnett et al. (2014) that underlines the “interplay of ethics and conflict” (p. 2) highlighting ethics as “the good that one seeks to protect and promote” (p. 7) that generate conflict because of “multiplicity of ‘goods’” (Arnett et al., 2009, p. 9) and contrasting ethical positions. Thus, given the multiplicity in terms of what is considered as that which matters, and the contrasting ethical positions that are at odds with each other, conflict and tension can be generated. There are no other studies in the literature that use the abovementioned communication ethics perspective for discussing the Gezi Park protests in Turkey.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2016

Çağrı Eryılmaz

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

Public Spaces: Times of Crisis and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-463-1

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Book part
Publication date: 9 June 2016

Zeynep Cihan Koca-Helvacı

A comparative analysis of ideologically opposed Turkish newspapers’ coverage of the Gezi Park protests, which was a wave of pro-democracy movement in Turkey, is critical…

Abstract

A comparative analysis of ideologically opposed Turkish newspapers’ coverage of the Gezi Park protests, which was a wave of pro-democracy movement in Turkey, is critical because the media not only have a strong influence on opinion formation (Fairclough, 1989) but also provide the most relevant context for observing controversial interpretations and practices of democracy in Turkey. Although previous research on the media framing of social movements (Chan & Lee, 1984; Dardis, 2006; Hackett & Zhao, 1994; McLeod & Hertog, 1999) has shown that the media delegitimized the protests to serve the interests of the political status quo, it is expected that a much more complicated attitude may be revealed in the Turkish media because of the protest issue and polarized media. To this end, I triangulate corpus linguistics with frame analysis to explore discrepancies between the right and left wing newspapers’ coverage of the protests. Contrary to previous studies, no sort of unanimity on the side of the political authority is observed in Turkish media. While right wing newspapers widely use delegitimizing frames to portray the protests as an international plot or a masquerade, left wing newspapers only use legitimizing frames to deem the protests as a reasonable reaction to the controversial policies of the government. The findings of this study provide a new understanding of changing media attitudes toward social mobilizations in an era which has witnessed a series of movements for democracy and equality.

Details

Protest, Social Movements and Global Democracy Since 2011: New Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-027-5

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2017

Selcen Ozturkcan, Nihat Kasap, Muge Cevik and Tauhid Zaman

Twitter usage during Gezi Park Protests, a significant large-scale connective action, is analyzed to reveal meaningful findings on individual and group tweeting…

Abstract

Purpose

Twitter usage during Gezi Park Protests, a significant large-scale connective action, is analyzed to reveal meaningful findings on individual and group tweeting characteristics. Subsequent to the Arab Spring in terms of its timing, the Gezi Park Protests began by the spread of news on construction plans to build a shopping mall at a public park in Taksim Square in Istanbul on May 26, 2013. Though started as a small-scale local protest, it emerged into a series of multi-regional social protests, also known as the Gezi Park demonstrations. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors sought answers to three important research questions: whether Twitter usage is reflective of real life events, what Twitter is actually used for, and is Twitter usage contagious? The authors have collected streamed data from Twitter. As a research methodology, the authors followed social media analytics framework proposed by Fan and Gordon (2014), which included three consecutive processes; capturing, understanding, and presenting. An analysis of 54 million publicly available tweets and 3.5 million foursquare check-ins, which account to randomly selected 1 percent of all tweets and check-ins posted from Istanbul, Turkey between March and September 2013 are presented.

Findings

A perceived lack of sufficient media coverage on events taking place on the streets is believed to result in Turkish protestors’ use of Twitter as a medium to share and get information on ongoing and planned demonstrations, to learn the recent news, to participate in the debate, and to create local and global awareness.

Research limitations/implications

Data collection via streamed tweets comes with certain limitations. Twitter restricts data collection on publicly available tweets and only allows randomly selected 1 percent of all tweets posted from a specific region. Therefore, the authors’ data include only tweets of publicly available Twitter profiles. The generalizability of the findings should be regarded with concerning this limitation.

Practical implications

The authors conclude that Twitter was used mainly as a platform to exchange information to organize street demonstrations.

Originality/value

The authors conclude that Twitter usage reflected Street movements on a chronological level. Finally, the authors present that Twitter usage is contagious whereas tweeting is not necessarily.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 69 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2019

Farzad Zamani and Asma Mehan

The purpose of this paper is to explain how abstract space of the State – universally and specifically within the context of Middle Eastern cities – aims to homogenise the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain how abstract space of the State – universally and specifically within the context of Middle Eastern cities – aims to homogenise the city and eliminate any anomaly that threatens its power structure.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a historical and discourse analysis of these policies and processes in the two case studies, this paper presents a contextualised reading of Lefebvre’s concept of abstract space and process of abstraction in relation to the alienation of political public spaces.

Findings

The paper proposes that regardless of these homogenising strategies being applied universally, they fail to respond to contextual particularities and therefore they – in a contradictory manner – may themselves produce a space of resistance and difference.

Originality/value

This paper focusses on Iran, the case of Tehran and Turkey, the case of Taksim Square and Gezi Park in Istanbul. Recent policies and strategies have been proposed and implemented to reduce, alienate and possibly neutralise the impacts of urban and political protests in these cities and socio-political contexts.

Details

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-6862

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Book part
Publication date: 9 June 2016

Delia Hallberg and Marinus Ossewaarde

2011 marked an extraordinary year in which in cities all over the world, political protest and crowds in the street took over public space, in broad opposition to…

Abstract

2011 marked an extraordinary year in which in cities all over the world, political protest and crowds in the street took over public space, in broad opposition to repressive state associated with neoliberalism. Since 2011, a “new global cycle of protests” has developed, characterized by public expressions of outrage, fury, and resentment. In Sofia, in early 2013, Bulgarians gathered on the streets, for the first time since 1996–1997. After the first protests in early 2013 diminished, a new and even stronger protest movement developed during the summer of 2013. The aim of this paper is to detect the peculiarities and distinctive traits that are unique to the Bulgarian Summer 2013 protests. It is argued that, although the Bulgarian Summer 2013 movement is part of the “new global cycle of protests,” the Bulgarian protests are characterized by a distinctive struggle for cultural recognition that is partly inspired by Bulgaria’s National Awakening movement that had struggled against the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century.

Details

Protest, Social Movements and Global Democracy Since 2011: New Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-027-5

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 29 October 2020

Erdogan has accused President Emmanuel Macron of being anti-Islamic in his championing of secularism after a French teacher’s murder for showing cartoons offensive to…

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Book part
Publication date: 19 July 2021

John Markoff, Hillary Lazar and Jackie Smith

Scholars have shown many ways that social movements and democracy are deeply connected. Here, we demonstrate a previously unexplored process by which social movements…

Abstract

Scholars have shown many ways that social movements and democracy are deeply connected. Here, we demonstrate a previously unexplored process by which social movements alter democratic practice. Democratic movements are often experienced as insufficiently democratic by the very activists who participate in them, impelling new practices. We present examples from recent research on democratic movements and then contend that this is a common occurrence. Building on Hirschman's analysis of organizational change, we develop a theoretical account of why activists find movements for democracy disappointing and try to correct this, either by transforming the organizations they are in or creating new ones. Hirschman categorized responses to organizational challenges as Voice and Exit; we define a combination of these we call Semi-Exit as a useful extension. We then show in some detail how both disappointment and creativity have been generated in two major movement arenas: transnational activism that links social justice with environmental concerns and the Occupy Movement.

Details

The Politics of Inequality
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-363-0

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Executive summary
Publication date: 7 January 2021

TURKEY: Universities could become new battleground

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-ES258642

ISSN: 2633-304X

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Geographic
Topical
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Expert briefing
Publication date: 18 September 2019

Government relations with opposition-led cities.

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