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Is Everywhere Taksim?: Public Space and Possible Publics

    In a speech on 1 June, responding to the wave of protests sweeping through Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan proclaimed that “the issue is not the 5-10 trees that are being removed.” By calling the demonstrators “ideological,” and suggesting they were simply opposition cadres or opportunistic ...  Read More »

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Trials and Tribulations of Turkish News Media

On 3 June, while mass protests against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government were raging in several cities around Turkey, something equally important happened in Istanbul. Close to three thousand people gathered in front of the offices of Dogus Media Group, one of the five largest media conglomerates in ...  Read More »

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The View from Istiklal

More than a week has passed since activity began in Istanbul’s Gezi Park at Taksim Square. İstiklal Avenue, where I live, has been full of protestors waving or draped in the Turkish flag, carrying political banners, and shouting slogans: “Government Resign” (Hükümet İstifa), “Tayyip Resign” (Tayyip İstifa), “Shoulder ...  Read More »

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Let Us Dot the ‘i’ and Cross the ‘t’: Insurgence and the End of ‘Tough Love’ Politics in Turkey

I think it was on the second day of the protests that I saw the photograph: a Gezi Park protester standing in front of a yellow warning sign. The municipality sign warns drivers to use alternative routes because of the construction work in Taksim Square. The activist is drawing a line through the letter “l” in the ...  Read More »

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Hasty Observations from the Gezi Park Resistance

The tweet I circulated before I went to the Gezi Park on Thursday read: “Could this place turn into a Tiananmen or Tahrir? Why not?” Under certain conditions, those things that we cannot fully grasp on the conscious level, we simply sense subconsciously. I must have sensed without knowing it, that a full-blown ...  Read More »

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O.I.L. Monthly Edition (May 2013)

[This is a monthly archive of pieces written by Jadaliyya contributors and editors on the Occupations, Interventions,and Law (O.I.L.) Page. It also includes material published on other platforms that editors deemed pertinent to post as they provide diverse depictions of O.I.L.-related topics. The pieces reflect the ...  Read More »

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Contours of a New Republic and Signals from the Past: How to Understand Taksim Square

Much has been written about the protests in Istanbul and Turkey, which have unfolded since the initial occupation of Gezi Park by environmental activists on 28 May. In the attempt to make sense of the massive unrest which followed, several frames of explanation have emerged: The prism of the “Tahrir Republic” and the ...  Read More »

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Today We All Are Someone New: An Open Letter from Istanbul

[The following open letter was issued by Müştereklerimiz (Our Commons) on 2 June 2013. It serves as an umbrella organization for groups working on urban issues, ecology, immigrant rights, and LGBT rights with the purpose of creating democratic commons. Since the occupation of the Gezi Park, the organization ...  Read More »

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Erdogan in Morocco: The Politics of Reception

A widely mediatized and well-timed state visit can double up both as a political opportunity and as a convenient distraction. Such was the case, or as it seems, for Erdogan’s tour in the Maghreb, starting with a first stop in Morocco, followed by Algeria, and ending with Tunisia. Despite attempts at public relations ...  Read More »

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Occupy Gezi: The Limits of Turkey’s Neoliberal Success

There are two telling, though widely neglected, details about what initiated and popularized the groundbreaking protests in Taksim Square, Istanbul: the protests started out as a response to the governing neoliberal party’s project of urban transformation or urban renewal; yet, urban questions quickly took a backseat ...  Read More »

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Alignments of Dissent and Politics of Naming: Assembling Resistance in Turkey

Over ten thousand people took over the streets of Ümraniye, a working-class neighborhood on the Asian side of Istanbul, at around 10 pm on Sunday 2 July  to stand in  solidarity with the demonstrators not only in  the grounds of the Gezi Park in Taksim Square, but also with those demonstrating in ...  Read More »

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The Season of Rebellion in Turkey: Interviews with Cihan Tugal and Erdem Yoruk

A small scale protest which was meant to stop the destruction of what has been described as an oasis in the heart of Istanbul, replacing it with an Ottoman era-themed shopping complex, has led to more than 235 protests in sixty-seven cities in Turkey. According to the latest news reports, more than 1,700 people have ...  Read More »

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On the 'Turkish Model': Neoliberal Democracy with Teargas

On 28 May, upon awakening, alarming news from home flooded my screen: citizens were protesting the destruction of the Taksim Park, just outside the historic Taksim Square in Istanbul, which is to become little more than a busy traffic intersection featuring a shopping mall and a mosque if the city government proceeds ...  Read More »

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The Right to the City Movement and the Turkish Summer

As I write this, Istanbul is under siege. The might of Istanbul's entire police force—the largest city police force in Europe—is violently cracking down on peaceful occupiers in Gezi Park. The protest, which began on 27 May, is ostensibly over a planned shopping center to be built over a park in Istanbul's central ...  Read More »

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Everywhere is Taksim, Resistance Everywhere

Taking a page out of the playbook of dictators from Damascus to Algiers, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has thus far refused any serious engagement with the thousands protesting the destruction of Gezi Park in Istanbul. His supporters have attempted to paint the protests—currently in their fifth day, and ...  Read More »

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Constantinople and Smyrna in the Diasporan Armenian and Greek Imaginaries [Part Two]

[Part One of this article can be found here.] Constantinople in Diasporan Armenian Films While artistic production in the Armenian diaspora has been nowhere near as abundant as it had been in Constantinople during the final decades of the Ottoman Empire, generations of diasporan Armenian artists—working in the ...  Read More »

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Constantinople and Smyrna in the Diasporan Armenian and Greek Imaginaries [Part One]

. . . Բայց դուն, տեսի՜լք ընտանի, հիմա ա՜յնչափ հեռացած, Ըսէ՜, իրաւ է որ ա՜լ պիտի երբեք չբացուիս Դիմացն զքեզ փնտռող իմ անսահման կարօտիս . . . ։   Դուն որ եղար, ո՜վ Պոլիս, լոյսն աչքերուս նորաբաց, Ճի՞շդ է, ըսէ՜, որ ա՜լ մենք օտարնե՜ր ենք իրարու Եւ իրաւունք չունի՜մ ես քու հողիդ մէջ թաղուելու. . . ...  Read More »

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Letter Concerning Attacks Against Faculty Who Did Not Support Re-election of the University Rector in Turkey

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA).] 8 May 2013 Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Office of the Prime Minister Başbakanlık 06573 Ankara, Turkey Dear Prime Minister Erdoğan: I write on behalf of the Middle ...  Read More »

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The Process in Turkey

In early 2013, a critical process is unfolding regarding the solution to the Kurdish question in Turkey. The success of this process—that is, the protection of Kurdish people's collective rights through the making of constitutional and legal amendments—is fundamental to ending the war which has been waged for thirty ...  Read More »

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Blurring the Borders: Syrian Spillover Risks for Turkey

[The following report was issued by International Crisis Group on 30 April 2013.] Blurring the Borders: Syrian Spillover Risks for Turkey Executive Summary Turkey has struggled to find the right response to the Syrian civil war, which has brought shellfire, bombs, militias, refugees, sectarian tensions, ...  Read More »

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The End of an Era: The Less than Grand Opening of the New Ottoman Archives

[The following status update on the new Ottoman Archive Center in Kağıthane was written by Patrick Adamiak, Jeffery Dyer, and Michael Christopher Low.] For generations, historians of the Ottoman Empire and its former territories in the Balkans and the Arab Middle East participated in a rite of passage linking them ...  Read More »

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Turkey: Decriminalize Dissent

[The following report was issued by Amnesty International in March 2013.]  Decriminalize Dissent: Time to Deliver on the Right to Freedom of Expression Introduction Freedom of expression is under attack in Turkey. Hundreds of abusive criminal prosecutions are brought every year against political ...  Read More »

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The Kurdish Question and Turkish-Israeli Relations: An Interview with Professor Cihan Tugal

In his Nowruz message on 21 March, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, declared a ceasefire and called on armed militants to withdraw from Turkish territory. He said, “Today we are waking up to a new Middle East, a new Turkey, and a new future” and added, “The Middle East and ...  Read More »

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Call for Applicants: Reporting Energy and Finance in Europe's Neighborhood (9 May, Istanbul)

Reporting Energy and Finance in Europe's Neighborhood 9 May 2013, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Istanbul, Turkey     Organised by Bankwatch Network, this workshop aims to familiarise reporters from European Neighbourhood countries with issues related to reporting energy and energy markets, particularly with a ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Amr Adly, State Reform and Development in the Middle East: Turkey and Egypt in the Post-Liberalization Era

Amr Adly, State Reform and Development in the Middle East: Turkey and Egypt in the Post-Liberalization Era. London and New York: Routledge, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Amr Adly (AA): The book is based on my PhD dissertation that I completed in September 2010 at the European University ...  Read More »

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روايات موسيقية من اسطنبول

[تنشر هذه المقالة ضمن إتفاقية شراكة وتعاون بين "جدلية" و"معازف" ] Politiki Mousiki* روايات موسيقية من اسطنبول "ya khabibi ya lelelli" آخر الأخبار الفنية الواردة عن فرق النفخ البلقانية تؤكد أن “الفتاة المصرية” (“مصرلو” بالتركية) ما زالت تحافظ على شعبيتها الأكيدة وحضورها الراسخ في ...  Read More »

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Turkish Progressive Lawyers Association Statement on Lawyers' Arrests

[The following statement was issued by the Progressive Lawyers Association of Turkey on 18 January 2013.] Police terrorism against defense lawyers continues. Lawyers are being taken under custody and searches are carried out in their offices and houses as well as two offices of Progressive Lawyers’ ...  Read More »

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Letter Concerning Incidents at the Marmara University Faculty of Communications

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA).] 24 January 2013 Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Office of the Prime Minister Başbakanlık 06573 Ankara, Turkey Dear Prime Minister Erdoğan: I write on behalf of the Middle ...  Read More »

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Qatar Leaks: The Business of Foreign Policy

[This report has been placed on hold until further corroboration emerges]  Read More »

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Statement In Memory of Three Kurdish Activists Killed in Paris

[The following statement was issued by the EU Turkey Civic Commission on 9 January 2013.] In Memory of Our Friends: Sakine Canziz, Fidan Dogan, and Leyla Söylemez It was with shock and grief we received the horrible news about the deaths of our dear friends who were massacred in Paris today in the most grotesque ...  Read More »

About Turkey Page

Jadaliyya’s Turkey Page features exclusive and in-depth coverage by contributors on the ground in Turkey as well as outside observers, from a wide range of perspectives. We aim to enrich the coverage of Turkey throughout the English-language media, to generate new critical conversations, and to translate work being published in Turkish for an English-language audience. We welcome submissions in both English and Turkish. If you wish to contribute to this page, send your material to or click below:


Turkey Map and Stats

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Population: 75,627,384
Government: Republican parliamentary democracy
Year of independence: 1923
GDP: $795 billion (nominal); $1.306 trillion (purchasing power parity)
Unemployment: 9.2%; Youth Unemployment (ages 15-24): 25.3%
Internet Users: 45.7% (37.455) million 
Exchange Rate: ~ 1.8 Turkish lira per US dollar
GDP Growth Rate: 5.2% 
Military Expenditures: 2.4% of GDP (World Rank: 15)
Health Expenditures: 6.74% of GDP (World Rank: 88)
Population Growth Rate: 1.2% 
Age Structure: 0-14 years: 24.5%; 15-64 years: 67.8%; 65 years and over: 7.7%
Literacy: 87% (Male: 95%; Female: 80%)
Religious Demographics: Sunni Muslim 80-85%; Alevi Muslim 15-20%; Christian (various denominations) 0.13%; Jewish 0.03%
Ethnic Demographics: Turks 80%, Kurds 18%, Arabs 1.4%, Armenians 0.1%, and other (Assyrian, Greek Orthodox, Georgian, Circassian) 0.5%
Languages: Turkish, Kurdish, Zaza, Arabic, Armenian, Greek, Albanian, Neo-Aramaic Laz, Ladino
Area: 301,159 square miles

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