The tussle area of 21 century; Dijital Technology and Social Media
This article was a reflection of “The politics of the digital technoscape in Turkey: Survilence and resistance of Kurds” which was written by Burce Çelik. Çelik’s article explores the nova ways in which the use of digital technologies has become a political power in Kurdish and Turkish relations.
Firstly we need to ask, What is clicktivism? “Clicktivism is the use of social media and other online methods to promote a cause.” (1)
I think that, clicktivism has both positive and negative effect on the social movement. The premise behind clicktivism is that social media allows for quickly and easy ways to support an organization or cause. Clicktivism isn’t exclusively support or promotion of a reason online. It is the use of digital media for facilitatiting of social change and activism. More often that not this takes the form of supporting and promoting a reason of social media, but it can include a whole a range of activism. For example: Gezi movement, Egypt revolution, Tunis revolution and Green revolution… (many countries from Arap Spring.)
If we consider the social media in relationship with the Kurdish movement, there are a lots of effective groups like Bijwan Kurds 2.0, Tolaz, Ötekilerin Postasi which are founded by Kurdish activists and have acquired an important place in the opposition. Beside that, the Kurdish politicans were among those who are using the social media in Turkey with groups that are opend for them in social media. Being physically present in social action together with the active utilization of social media helps to create an effective opposition. Kurdish youths, in general, are active in using the social media for this aspect and come together (organize themselfs) trough it. However, this new tussle area is used against them as an evidence for the government. It can be said that the most important example of this is the KCK (Koma Civaken Kurdistan) file. A large part of the evidences in the file are about photo sharing, phone-calls and similar things from social media. Burçe Çelik is explaining this situation detailed in her article “ The politics oft he digital technospace in Turkey: Survilence ans resistance of Kurds.“ The evidences which are collected supposedly fort he fight against terrorism are a justification that people be in prison for many years.
The Kurdish movement used the “street protests“ as an effective pressure element and a weapon against the government but these moved nowadays on an online atmosphere due to the social media and this means that a large rate of physical activities are prevented. Naom Chomsky explains the transformation of activism on a seminar in Turkey as a similar one: “The rate of street activism decreases which was observable as a common way at the end oft the 60s instead of nowadays dynamic existing activism. Various activism movements appeared. Feminin movement, anti global warming movement, anti war movement are only severel ones. These movements do not have a visible effect. We can’t get the effect of activism these days like in the 60s. “ (2) Based on the analysis of Chomsky we could discuss the negative and positive aspects oft he usage of social media which is an important element of tussle in the 21th century.
Is this opposition which is effective against the government losing his effect because of the social media? Is the powerful movement on the streets going tob e a clicktivism?
The annoying thing in the term “clicktivism“ is that it is precieved like individuals are imprisoned in digital media. The term clicktivism (as i defined at the begining oft he article) is used to define: “the activism activity which is conducted on the digital media.“ So in this case it is a negative definition. However, this restriction has a specific reality. To point out this reality “digital slacktivism“ (digital laziness), “clicktivism“ (clicking) definitions were made. These definitions show the danger of activisim when it is only done in digital media by writing something on the internet, sharing others writings, and click on something and because of this the daily activism quoata is filled by some groups. This is like a “digital fanus effect“ which ineffectives the action. So the Kurdish movement was at the period before the digital activism starts very effective on the streets and nowadays this moved more to a digital one. This is a case which leaves quastion marks in the mind.
On the one hand some democracy theoreticians and activists think that the Kurdish opposition loses its effect and fanus deceived in itself and on the other hand some put forward that a new tussle area is created where the Kurdish activists play an important role. “ I think both opinions with their positive and negative aspects have an effect on the Kurdish movement in Turkey. The system which was used in the 20th century is probably changing of Shell in the 21th century.
The pressure of critical discources are continuously changing the dominant system forcibly and new shapes creating new tussle areas. The authoritarian structures of forms and governments therefore developed tussle areas in 1970 and the 80s which differ from the structure and shape nowadays. Technology and social media takes place at a large part of our lives. Accordingly, the tussle areas changed in the new century. The most significant example of the new tussle style and change is the Wall Street movement which continues as the occupy movement that spread out fastly all over the world. The example for Turkey is the Gezi Parking movement. The use of social media and its role has a serious place in those movements. Because of this previously existing forms changed and this leads to the development of new discourses. All right, what is this for a new tussle area? What is the contribution of social opposition?
Occupy: The name given to an international movement protesting against perceived economic injustice by occupying building or places and staying there for an extended period of time. That the Gezi movement is in this case a occupy movement has created an new perception against the Kurds. The usage of social media (facebook, tweeter) plays an important role fort he change in this perception and this creates a stabilization point. So with the change of technology and social media a new opposition understanding and tussle area is cteated. The new generated area is used effectiv by the Kurdish activists and it is getting an advantage fort them.
Social movements and social snags together with the use of social media was an effective way to recognize the Kurdish phenomen in Turkey for people who were not aware of this before. This new direction in social media is a significant factor fort he new created tussle area and also generates a good tussle fort he opposition
1. (Online Oxford Dictionaries word of the year 2011 / http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/squeezed-middle-is-named-oxford-dictionaries-word-of-the-year-2011-134361588.html)
3. “The politics of the digital technoscape in Turkey: Survilence and resistance of Kurds. Burce Celik”