Right to public space:
social movements and active citizenship in Turkey
(2017) Research and Policy on Turkey, 2:1, 1-9.
Gezi movement was initiated by a group of young people originating from different political and ideological backgrounds, who were in conflict with established élites. These active citizens most often approach problems from the grassroots level. They may belong to a political party, social movement, or some other active association involved in promoting an ideology of change. They are not necessarily left or right, but tend to be in the opposition and the more radical of each political persuasion. They are often social reformers of an established party, grassroots organisers of any political position, or radical revolutionaries with an activist orientation. They believe that many things can be done altruistically for ‘the people’ or for ‘the country’. The Gezi Park Protests announced the formation of new collective movements denouncing the precariousness of individual life and the fragmentation of social life. It also brought about new avenues for the reconstruction of a social life free from the control of neoliberal and financial speculation, affirming the human dignity of individuals aiming at their subjective assertion in the context of a new democracy. Based on such premises, the Introduction will introduce the basic assumptions of this issue as well as the content of each article.