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Gezi Park protests in Turkey: from ‘enough is enough’ to counter-hegemony?

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This study aims at a critical analysis of the Gezi Park protests of 2013. Without denying the importance of understanding their ‘before and after,’ it tries to understand what happened ‘during’ the Gezi protests. It argues that the practice of Gezi can be understood via the theory of radical democracy, whose core concepts and premises are particularly appropriate for making sense of what happened during Gezi protests. Drawing on those concepts this study argues that (i) Gezi was a manifestation of the ‘undecidability and contingency of political identities’; (ii) a highly suitable atmosphere developed during the protests for the emergence of a ‘(counter) hegemonic relationship’ in the radical democratic sense of the term; (iii) Kemalism unsuccessfully attempted to act as ‘the nodal point’ to fix the free floating of ideological elements; (iv) ultimately, no particularity managed to take over the representation of ‘the chain of equivalence’ established among the elements excluded from the current neoliberal-conservative hegemony.
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Keywords: AKP; Gezi Park protests; democratization; political identity; radical democracy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Political Science and International Relations, Başkent University, Ankara, Turkey

Publication date: April 2, 2016

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