Urban Uprising in Turkey
The Istanbul's entire police force — the largest city police force in Europe — is violently cracking down on peaceful occupiers in Gezi Park. The Urban Uprising in Turkey started on 28 May 2013, to fight against Erdogan's and his government's urban development plan for Taksim Gezi Park. Gezi Park - an area inside Taksim Square, filled with trees - is one of the few green spaces left in central Istanbul. Under the redevelopment plans, the government wants to pedestrianise and ease traffic around Taksim Square, which effectively means much of Gezi Park will be replaced by concrete.
Many supporting protests and strikes are still taking place across Turkey protesting against privatization, spatial control and supporting more freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and expression.
People in Turkey demand:
- The preservation of Gezi Park
- The end to police violence
- Retain of Public space
- The right to freedom of assembly and expression
- Freedom of the press
Gezi Park is the sudden explosion of "The Right To The City" movement with some anti-government sentiments mixed in.
The Origins of the Uprising
There is a conflict in visions for urban space between ruling elites and the people who actually live, work and play in the city. Financial developers want to dictate the quality and organization of daily life in Istnabul by transforming Gezi Park into a Shopping Mall. The initial cause of the protests was the urban plan to remove Gezi Park, one of the few remaining green spaces in the centre of Istanbul and to replace it with a Shopping Mall transforming the public space into a more car-friendly, tourist, and sanitized urban center.