6: The Feminist Movement in Turkey and the Women of the Gezi Park Protests

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The Gezi Park protest camp in Istanbul in 2013 was an unprecedented democratic event. Women were active participants in the Gezi protests and engaged in all the camp’s activities. While much has been written on the protests, the relationship between them and the feminist movement in Turkey remains unexplored. In this chapter, I address this relationship and explore whether the feminist movement which has played a democratising role in Turkish politics since the 1980s, also helped shape the Gezi protests. The chapter argues that women – and feminist women in particular – left their imprint on Gezi. It traces the links between the norms, values, modes of organising and resistance of women in the Gezi Park protests and those of the feminist movement in Turkey. Through Gezi, the feminist movement engaged with a cause beyond its specific interest in women’s concerns, built coalitions with new groups and put feminist values into practice.

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Feminism and Protest Camps
Entanglements, Critiques and Re-Imaginings