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The way to Gezi Park and beyond. An interdisciplinary dialogue on Turkey from the other side of Europe

A Panel Discussion
Thursday 20th June 2013 - 4:00pm
Glamorgan Building, Room 1.67

Turkey is experiencing the biggest anti-government protest movement in its history. What began as a peaceful protest seeking to protect one of the parks in the very centre of Istanbul turned into a violent clash between protesters and the police, with protests quickly spreading to other urban centres throughout the country. People from many sections of Turkish society have coalesced to oppose what they see as the oppressive politics of the government with regard to freedom of speech, women’s rights, the media, use of urban space and the environment.

The ensuing upheaval has not only shaken the authority of the Prime Minister and the cabinet, but arguably holds the potential to generate a lasting transformation in the social and political culture of Turkey. Turkey is the country within which the East and the West join and its geopolitical coordinates as well as its culture(s), level(s) of development, internal politics and international presence make it an extraordinary country with a unique make-up and potential. This is a country that is important for Europe - and for us, on the other side of it - and academic discussion and engagement here on what is happening there seems to us to be of great value and relevance today. The aim of this event is to bring together scholars from a range of disciplines to debate the many roots of the current political events and, above all, to speculate on the likely impact of the protest movement in Turkey on governance, urban and internal politics, society, human rights, diplomacy and more. We would also like to look into ways to continue the debate in an interdisciplinary environment, if there is an interest, and ascertain what we - as engaged and critical academics - could 'do'.