This is already the tenth addition to the Thesis Pieces series made up of contributions from my past and present PhD research students at the University of Nottingham. This blog post from Görkem Altınörs spotlights some of the key misunderstandings about the Gezi Movement in Istanbul and focuses on the social processes linked to how shopping malls in Turkey have become what he calls the “spatial incarnations of neoliberal order” in Turkey.
Kapitalizm gölgesini satamadığı ağacı keser
(Capitalism will cut down the tree if it can’t sell its shadow)
— Graffiti around Taksim Square
The greatest civil uprising in recent Turkish history erupted in Istanbul on 31 May 2013. It started with a peaceful sit-in protest in order to protect a few (probably the last) trees in the city centre. The excessive usage of force by police against activists assisted protests in spreading first across Istanbul and then to almost all cities throughout Turkey as well as major cities around the world. Demonstrations took an inspiring, widely participated, and multi-located form which created its own humour via graffiti and social media. According to government resources 2.5 million people joined rallies across the Turkey. The Turkish Medical Association has declared 4 deaths and over 8,000 injuries (60 with serious conditions). More than 70 people have been detained (out of 4,900 arrests) within 20 days.