This article provides the trajectory of the political and social conditions that structured the sudden and puzzling explosion of the nationwide Gezi revolt in Turkey out of a small protest for an urban park in Istanbul during the summer of 2013. It depicts the macro-level political struggles that shaped the last decade in Turkey as well as the short history of grassroots political activism during the year preceding the Gezi revolt. In explaining the conditions of existence of the revolt, the article considers the grassroots effects of two political developments: (1) during the last decade, the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) had been involved in a striking level of intra-elite political competition for national power with the Kemalist establishment, which consisted of the high ranks of the military bureaucracy (the army), the civil bureaucracy (jurisdiction), and the Kemalist main opposition party (Republican People’s Party), and (2) the level of grassroots political activism, particularly against the government, had gradually and dramatically escalated during the year preceding the uprising in June 2013.

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