Gezi: The Park that Shook Up Turkey

Publication Date: 
June 2013
Open Democracy

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On May 28 2013, a few hundred people gathered at Istanbul’s Gezi Park. They were there to protest the demolition of Taksim’s last remaining public park. The people gathered in the park were mostly environmental activists, leftists, and a few outspoken public figures; artists, musicians, actors-actresses. They had only one aim: to protect the trees in the park from being cut down (or ‘transferred to a more suitable spot’ as claimed by the government representatives) and to protest the planned construction of a replica of 19th century Ottoman Barracks in its place, which was to serve as a luxury residence and Istanbul’s 94th shopping mall. They could not have known that they were about to ignite the biggest civil protest movement Turkey has witnessed in the last three decades. Read more >>