MA Yılmaz Tülay

34400 €

The Last Straw of Democratization? Understanding the Gezi Protests in Turkey through Participants’ Narratives

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Yksivuotinen

The 2013 Gezi movement stands as a defining moment in Turkish history; originally catalyzed by environmentalist concerns, the movement rapidly evolved, drawing participation from diverse societal groups and culminating in approximately 5,000 related demonstrations all over the country. Despite the widespread academic interest in the Gezi protests, a noticeable void exists: the exploration of participants' emotional narratives before, during, and after the movement. By employing narrative analysis and the sociology of emotions in social movements, the research investigates the emotional dimensions of the Gezi protests and their impact on Turkish society. Data for this research was sourced from in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 52 Gezi protest participants, in the primary protest cities Ankara and Istanbul. Interviewees were selected from a variety cross-section of Turkey's political and ethnic factions. Thematic narrative analysis was employed to discern common elements between participants' experiences. Firstly, a unique feature of this research is its systematically retrospective approach, interviewing participants nearly a decade post-event, thus investigating current emotions, experiences, and perceptions regarding the Gezi uprising and associated political dynamics aftermath. secondly, the study contributes to social movement literature by offering a unique, retrospective viewpoint that sheds light on the emotional dynamics and narratives shaping the course of the Gezi movement. Lastly, this study aims to better understand the emotions and narratives of those involved in the Gezi movement, aiming to provide a holistic understanding of the driving forces of the movement, the ambiance during the protests, and the post-protest social dynamics leading up to 2020 retrospectively. Such an investigation is pivotal, especially when considering nations with potentially fragile democratic frameworks