media censorship and disinformation during the Gezi Park protest

The 2013 protests in Turkey started on 28 May, to contest the urban development plan for Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park. In order to build a shopping mall, trees of Gezi Park were going to cut off. People who rised against that situation including mostly artists and students came together and started to arrange events such as concerts, reading books and camping in Gezi Park in order to aware people about the situation. Because they want to do something against disappearing motion picture theaters and historic buildings. After, the tents of protesters were burned with their books and instruments by police on 29 May, hundred of thousands of people came to Taksim to support them against the police. Till the end of protests, attitude of government and unproportional force of police caused so many death and thosands of injuries.


Media censorship and disinformation

 During the protests, one of the biggest top topic was silence of the mainstream media. Social media played a key part in the protests, not least because much of the Turkish media downplayed the events, particularly in the early stages (31 May – 2 June).  Furthermore, one of the most important news channel, CNN broadcasted a documentary film about penguins while Taksim was a battlefield. So, the penguin became a symbol for resisters to protect nature. Other important news channels like NTV and HaberTurk kept silent in spite of Haberturk’s building is in Taksim. Newspapers were thought objective, were silenced by the government at the beginning. In the upcoming days, a lot of singers, from Turkey and abroad, compose new songs to aware people and animations were made satirized the minister Erdoğan over Gezi protests. Some of protesters broadcasted live with their mobile phone from resist areas. After June 3, mainstream media came to Taksim to broadcast but they came across the resister’s reaction. The resisters reacted against the mainstream media and protested them. A lot of artists who were guests on tv shows protested the mainstream channels intellectively. The resisters came together in front of channels’ buildings and protested them. Let’s see one of them.

  Along the process, yellow journalism reported as news according to expectation of the government. But the social media was client area for public in spite of including a lot of false news. The government published the resisters’ billions of tweets were looked over and warrants have been issued for a lot of resisters’ arrest. But the people could not be silence. The effects of Gezi Park protests have still continued on social and mainstream media. The resistance against bullying of the government is still going on in Turkey. After the gezi protests main subject of the media was only cost of the protests. 


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