2.000 to 12.000

2000 to 12.000

GeziPark protest started 28 May 2013. Why people protested? Why apolitical people joined protest?
AKP government started the urban development plan for Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park. They wanted to rebuilt Topçu Kışlası including Taksim pedestrianization project but there was no plannning permission. Also they did not rebuilt same. They wanted to build shopping center. This news spread quickly in social medya.
“The sit-in at Taksim Gezi Park was restored after police withdrew from Taksim Square on 1 June, and developed into an Occupy-like camp with thousands of protesters in tents, organising a library, medical center, food distribution and their own media. After Gezi Park camp was cleared by riot police on 15 June, protesters began to meet in other parks all around Turkey and organised public forums to discuss ways forward for the protests(2)(3) Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan dismissed the protesters as “a few looters” on 2 June(4) Police suppressed the protests with tear gas and water cannons. 8000 were injured(1)(5)some critically. Over three thousand arrests were made. Excessive use of force by police and the overall absence of dialogue during the protests was criticized by some foreign countries and international organisations. (6)(7)”
There was lost of groups and people. For instance, Anti-Capitalist Muslims, socialists, environmentalists, kemalists, nationalists, football supporter clubs, labor unions, lawyers, doctors, alevis, kurds, atheists, LGBT etc. All of people did not come together or If they come to gether, they can fight but durig GeziPark Protest, they did not fight, they help eachother, they learned respect.

Especially, LGBT people, football supporter clubs and Anti-Capitalist Muslims attract sttention during GeziPark. What LGBT people want?
“Roughly two weeks ago, in the early stages of the Occupy Gezi protests, gay and lesbian activists were among the first to arrive in Gezi Park in Istanbul. As the ranks of demonstrators swelled and Occupy Gezi morphed from a simple protest to preserve the park into a larger movement against the Turkish government, gay and lesbian groups have found some unlikely allies near Taksim Square, and the rainbow flag has become one of the movement’s most visible symbols.
Homosexuality is, of course, far from fully accepted in Turkish society — the army still considers being gay a sexual deviancy – and gay activists have never been a powerful political force in Turkey. Yet in some ways, it’s not surprising that gays and lesbians would be on the forefront of the Occupy Gezi movement. After all, the park had been their territory — at least at night.
Located just steps away from Taksim Square, the city’s main entertainment hub, the park was once the de facto after-hours spot for gay revelers. “Take a look at every [gay] guidebook in the world, and you’ll find Gezi Park there,” says Barbaros Sansal, a fashion designer and activist who’s been going to the park for more than 50 years. “It’s the most important meeting point and cruising area for gays in Turkey. We all have memories there.” (8) LGBT people were drifted by all of these reason.

Yiğit Karaamet ,Freelance writer, said that “Parkın eşcinseller için ayrı önemi olduğundan dolayı ön saflarda hep onlar vardı ve bence tüm bu süreçten Çarşıdan sonra en karlı çıkan da onlar oldu. Halın kalbini kazanmayı sonunda başardıklarına inanıyorum. Darbuka sesleri, oryantal, parfüm kokusu, geceleri zuladan çıkan ve başka hiçbir yerde olmayan biber dolmaları LGBT çadırından hiç eksik olmadı” (GQ, July 2013) –English summary, They gained people’s heart.People met to real LGBT people. There were, sound of tambourines, oriental, perfume and stuffed peppers(!) in LGBT tent.- He is right. LGBT Facebook page increase 4600 to 10.000 and LGBT Twitter followers increase 2000 to 12.000 people during GeziPark protest.

İlker Çakmak ,İstanbul LGBT volunteer, talked about ‘Medyada görünebilir olmak için her fırsatta sokağa çıkıyoruz. Birçoğu gelip kaydetse de kendimizi medyada hiçbir zaman göremiyoruz. Bunu aşmak için yapabileceğimiz en etkili ve kolay yöntem de gösteri yapmak. Biz sokaktayız başka şansımız yok. –English summary, We go to street for visible in the media. Most of reporter record us but we do not see us in the media. Therefore, we protest for visible. We are on street, we have not another chance.-
Bundan sonraki adımların ne olması gerektiğini tartışıyoruz. Kimse daha ne yapmamız gerektiğini tam olarak bilmiyor ama yerel politik ağlara, belediye meclislerine girmeye çalışıyoruz.–We talk eachother for next step. Nobody knows next step but we can join local political networks, we can try to join municipal councils.-
Anayasada kişisel haklarda ‘Cinsel yönelim ve cinsiyet kimliği’ tanımlanmalı. Bizim sokakta olmamız için her türlü sebep devam ediyor ve biz sokaktan uzaklaşamayacağız.’ – Sexual orientation and gender identity should be define in individual rights in the constitution. All reason continue for we should be in street, we do not get away street.-
GeziPark protest was not just protest. People know eachother, they meet their ‘enemy.’ They overcoming their fear like homofobia. 30th June 2013, the protesters joined Gay Pride. 100.000 people walk Istiklal Avenue. The pride the biggest pride ever held in Turkey.

References
(1) Bellaigue, Christopher (December 19, 2013). “Turkey: ‘Surreal, Menacing…Pompous’”. New York Review of Books. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
(2) Hurriyet Daily News, 19 June 2013, Group stands against ‘standing man’ in Istanbul protest square
(3) bianet, 19 June 2013, Every Park Become Gezi Park in Turkey
(4) “Turkey protests spread after violence in Istanbul over park demolition”. The Guardian. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
(5) Tim Phillips, “New Report on Human Rights Violations During Turkey’s Response to Gezi Park Protests”, Activist Defense, 4 October 2013.
(6) “Gezi puts its mark on EU Progress Report”. Hurriyet Daily News. 16 October 2013.
(7) “Gezi Park Protests: Brutal Denial Of The Rıght To Peaceful Assembly In Turkey”. Amnesty International. 2 October 2013.
(8) Oray Eğin, Gays in the park: Why a rainbow flag has become one of the primary symbols of Occupy Gezi. 14 June 2013.

Melis TABAK
Final project

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