The Gezi uprising can be considered a crucial turning in Turkish politics. As a response to countrywide democratic protests, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government revived the security state, escalated authoritarian tendencies, and started to organize a nationalist, Islamist, and conservative backlash. This essay argues that the Gezi Park protests revealed both the fragility of the AKP's hegemony and the limits of the dominant political group habitus, which were promoted by the party to consolidate political polarization in favor of the party's hegemony. Moreover, it is argued that the Gezi uprising transformed the culture of political protests in the country and paved the way for the emergence of affirmative resistance, radical imagination, and a new politics of desire and dignity against authoritarian and neoliberal policies.
Revising the Culture of Political Protest after the Gezi Uprising in Turkey: Radical Imagination, Affirmative Resistance, and the New Politics of Desire and Dignity
Zafer Yilmaz is a visiting scholar at the Center for Citizenship, Social Pluralism, and Religious Diversity, Potsdam University. He has published a book on the concept of risk and poverty alleviation policies of the World Bank and several papers on the AKP’s political ideology, populism, social policies, family policies, and the new Islamic charity mentality in Turkey.
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Zafer Yilmaz; Revising the Culture of Political Protest after the Gezi Uprising in Turkey: Radical Imagination, Affirmative Resistance, and the New Politics of Desire and Dignity. Mediterranean Quarterly 1 September 2018; 29 (3): 55–77. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10474552-7003168
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