Gezi Park Resistance Article Series – No. 14
Reclaiming the Public Sphere in Turkey: Arendtian and Habermasian Interpretation of Forums
The summer of 2013 was beset by endemic protests in democracies where dissatisfaction with the status quo of politics was the defining feature. The streets of Brazil, Bulgaria and Turkey, though differed in their primary concerns, hosted floods of crowds expressing grievances. The streets were chosen as the space — not local assemblies, coffee shops or houses. The immense space provided by streets for holding vast groups of people, and the possibility of appearing together have been the appeal of streets. Being out, appearing in the ‘public sphere’ for which streets were initially chosen as a stage, empowered people. In Turkey, the movements took another turn and public forums emerged. will first probe in the evolution of the movement into the public forums in Turkey then analyze the potential of forums by portraying them through the lens of Arendtian and Habermasian approaches, and finally share my insight about expanding the forums.