Occupy Gezi as Politics of the Body

Zeynep Gambetti

Abstract: Zeynep Gambetti probes into "the politics of the body” that has come to the fore with the protests, the kinesis of thousands of bodies which displaced strategy and deliberation, and turned Gezi into some sort of "empty signifier” under which diverse grievances could be subsumed. The resistance thus took the form of a struggle of "disorderly bodies, of those who did not have any dispositif other than their bodies”. What happened throughout June 2013 was novel, Gambetti concludes, as it cannot be explained by conventional political categories. One needs to look into "the extensive interstices” of the politics of the body to begin deciphering it.

Keywords: biopolitics; dialogue; occupy movements; politics of the body; space

Ozkirimli, Umut. The Making of a Protest Movement in Turkey: #occupygezi.

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. doi: 10.1057/9781137413789.0010.

When the Gezi resistance started with police violence on 31 May 2013, it had an “anti-depressant” effect, as much as it was nerve-racking. During the protests when each day was prone to new crises, and normalcy was completely disrupted, those who poured into the streets or camped at Gezi Park experienced simultaneously the peaks of ecstasy and the depths of sorrow. If on any given day the protesters succeeded in preventing the police from taking over an occupied zone, for instance, this achievement would be weighed down by the news of someone loosing an eye or going into coma from wounds in the head. Analyzing such an intense event naturally requires taking some distance. Nevertheless, the vivid memory of days spent in action constitutes the starting point of the present narrative, since the acute intuition that history was being rewritten in Turkey throughout June was accompanied by the equally strong awareness as to its subject: the body.

Shattering the modernist construal of the subject as an abstract person possessing will and reason, the unforeseen course that the protests took was more the product of the kinesis of thousands of bodies than the consequence of strategy and deliberation. Each morning, many bodies with sleep-deprived eyes woke up in Istanbul, Ankara, Antakya, Izmir and elsewhere to take to the streets once again, after having quickly checked the latest news in the social media. Many were astonished as well as impressed that they could still walk, run, stand up and carry provisions for those in the parks. Exhausted bodies were rejuvenated with every new threat that the government uttered, and with tens of thousands of others they flowed daily to Taksim, Kizilay, Kugulu Park, Gundogdu, Abbasoglu and several other parks and squares, equipped with homemade gas masks, swimmer goggles, anti-acid solutions and whistles.1 Another corps of bodies - the police - intercepted them with tear gas, pressurized water, plastic bullets, bulletproof outfits, armored vehicles, helicopters and jammer devices. The synchronous or nonsynchronous movement of these bodies in busy metropolises where commuters, vendors and tourists were also wandering produced effects that no single subject could master or predict.

But what does it mean to conceptualize the Occupy Gezi movement as a politics of the body? And why choose to do so? After all, the more conventional categories of “the people” or “social and political groups” can also do much work in this context. It would certainly not be wrong to describe the resistance by virtue of its demands (the protection of green urban space, opposition to rampant neoliberalism or to the growing authoritarianism of a conservative government). Seen in this light, the struggles in and around Gezi would take on the allure of a clash of political visions, ideologies and objectives. It is true that the composition of the resistance lends itself to such an analysis. The organized groups occupying Gezi Park were easily recognized by the flags and banners they put up. There were a myriad of left-wing parties, unions and platforms at Gezi, as well as ultra-Republican parties and organizations. These cohabited the park with other organized groups: the feminists, the environmentalists, the football fan clubs, the LGBTT block and organizations affiliated with the pro-Kurdish BDP.

But organized groups were not the only occupants of Gezi. Hundreds of people (mostly, though not exclusively, youngsters) set up camp there on their own initiative. Many visited the park on a daily basis, sometimes carrying marks on their bodies as to their affiliation (using the Turkish flag as a drape around the shoulders, for instance), sometimes not. Moreover, the struggle that began in and around Gezi spread through other Istanbul neighborhoods and Turkish cities. Some of the barricades in Istanbul were under the control of leftist political parties. There were neighborhood struggles that were more or less homogeneous in terms of composition. Some neighborhoods had more experience in gathering rallies, struggling with the police or sustaining the resistance while others were more vulnerable.

This place-based depiction of the zones of struggle, however, does injustice to the striking mobility that characterized the Occupy Gezi movement. On the one hand, the aim was indeed to “occupy” or to appropriate space, that is, to stay there, to stay put, to settle and inhabit. On the other hand, there was a constant movement between spaces: crossing the Bosphorus that splits Istanbul into two, riding the metro to reach Taksim, going from one neighborhood to the next, following the trajectory of the clashes so as to help fellow protesters, going back and forth between field hospitals, supply shops and other sites of bodily sustenance. The term “Occupy movement” captures perfectly well this double relation to space. The Gezi resistance was as much about investing space as it was of divesting from space, of immobility as well as mobility.

Seen from this angle, the attempt to identify the “subject” of the verb “resist” becomes tricky, if not impossible. What can be said at most is that several “forces” were at work in and across space. These forces were in connection to each other, but only along shifting lines and grids. What is more, the forces of resistance acted upon and reacted to another set of forces: the apparatuses of the state and the means of retaliation that they deployed. Thus, the deed (“resisting”) took on various forms as a response to the tactics of the police and of reactionary groups that assisted them.

This should certainly not be taken to mean that the state apparatuses were the active force in the Occupy event. They, too, shifted their positions according to how the struggle evolved and even developed a mimicry of some of the strategies of the resistance. One striking instance had Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the protagonist: in response to the huge numbers of protesters who filled the parks and squares and astonished everyone without exception, Erdogan gathered his own partisans together in several scripted rallies.2 The aim was to show that Gezi protesters were a minor fraction of the population, whereas the leading AKP represented 50 percent of all Turkish citizens.3 Alluding to the investment of space by the Gezi resistance, Erdogan declared in a television program that he was having trouble holding back the 50 percent who voted for him from pouring out into the streets. Pro-government circles then indulged in head counts and calculated representative percentages.4

Every declaration by government circles actually disclosed a determination to control the energy spreading from the park, and to subordinate this to the needs of the ruling party. In other words, the establishment sensed that what was being produced by the Gezi resistance was a “surplus” or an “excess”, but was unable to truly comprehend it. The contradictions in official discourses are clear signs of this lack of comprehension. The government’s discursive strategies swayed from one extreme to the other without justification or grounding. Several ministers, including the prime minister, qualified the uprising as the feat of a handful of environmentalists concerned for a few trees and simultaneously as an international plot. The protesters then became a bunch of marginals, but the question of how these could get support from “international interest-rate lobbies”5 was evidently not asked. Speculative causality chains (ranging from “hatred of Erdogan” to “foreign countries jealous of Turkey’s economic success”) perfectly exposed the subconscious of the ruling party. The fear that this subconscious attempted to conceal in spite of sensing it - or rather, the fear that it attempted to conceal because it sensed it - stemmed from the prospect of never being able to control the excess pouring out of the resistance. The establishment was desperately clinging on to the phantasmatic hope that the war could be won by covering up, distorting, defiling or effacing the symbols of the resistance.

The AKP government, whose tactlessness prompted these resisting bodies to convene in the first place, could not have missed the significance of this excess. That is why it was imperative to destroy the alternative life set up at Gezi. The politics generated there incorporated a power and capability that could offer an alternative to the politically centralized, ideologically conservative and economically neoliberal AKP rule. What terrified the government, what challenged its plans and reflexes, was this tangible community’s resistance to being appropriated by state apparatuses.

Most of the activities taking place in the park were characterized by an ecological and anti-capitalist sensitivity, the will to combat the exclusion of the Other through ethnic, religious, gendered and sexual binaries, and the desire to experiment with direct participatory democracy. No decision could be taken that binded those who were not present to give their actual consent. Each and everyone had the right to speak as well as to listen to others without interrupting. Artistic and intellectual activities such as concerts and open lectures were offered by anyone interested and without expecting anything in return. Countless tangible services by countless volunteers - such as helping out at the infirmary, feeding stray animals, forming an organic vegetable patch, painting signs and posters, setting up acoustics and lighting systems or making and distributing tea to the nearby tents - were all executed without any institutional supervising, rules, administrators or leaders. The whole atmosphere was carnavalesque.

The disappearance of money at Gezi enabled running the choirs of everyday life through voluntary labor, deployed not according to the principles of reciprocity as in market economies, but according to a desire for solidarity. Or maybe the causality was the other way round: the desire and need for cooperation caused the disappearance of money and prompted the production of a surplus through voluntary labor. The result was the same in either case. Although the forms of manual labor required for daily routines (such as forming lines to pass heavy packs of bottled water to storage areas, cooking food, determining needs or sweeping the floor) all involved some kind of organization, they were mostly undertaken through spontaneous shifts. This communal life must have created such a desire to contribute in even those who came to Gezi just for “touristic” purposes that anyone who grabbed a plastic bag and a pair of gloves would walk around the different sectors of the park to pick up garbage. Similarly, there were many volunteers who saw to satisfying the demand for nicotine by walking around the park with a box in their hands, shouting: “Drop in some cigarettes if you have any extra; take some cigarettes if you need any.” Everyone at the park was either a de facto laborer or a potential one. And everyone could either appropriate the collective value produced or could at least potentially lay claim to it. Both the labor and the value belonged to everybody, and hence to nobody. Or viewed the other way round, neither the labor nor the surplus was anybody’s in particular, and hence belonged to everybody.

The alternative lifestyle produced at Gezi gives a clue to the frustrations and tensions caused by the AKP-led neoliberal and neoconservative regime in Turkey. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was the cutting of trees in a park in the middle of Taksim, which is Istanbul’s most hectic neighborhood. The Gezi Park was to be demolished, and a replica of an Ottoman barracks erected in its place. The site would then be turned into a mall and a luxury residence complex. For more than a year now, a small group of activists have already been trying to stop this from happening. But none of the symbolic protests they held at the park were heeded by the municipality run by the AKP.

In fact, Gezi Park is only one of the several gigantic urban transformation projects that the government is planning to implement. Some are already under way. Two months before the Taksim events, protesters got gassed for trying to get a historical movie theater in Istanbul from being demolished.6 Despite objections and a judicial verdict, moreover, the government started constructing a third bridge over the Bosphorus. Environmentalists and urban planners predict that in a couple of years the already strained water and natural reserves of the metropolis could be significantly depleted.7

But the Gezi protests were obviously not only about trees and ecology. “Gezi” turned into something like an “empty signifier”.8 All sorts of discontent against the growing authoritarianism of the AKP, against conservative interventions into people’s lifestyles and choices, against neoliberal greed, against rampant commodification, against the denial of ethnic and religious identities (mainly of Kurds and Alevis), against nepotism and partisanship, against the censoring of the media, against police violence, against the use of the judiciary to criminalize all sorts of dissent and so on and so forth seemed to be articulated to the signifier

“Gezi” all at once. The composition of the protesters was wildly heterogeneous, and protests spread to 70 cities all around Turkey.9

This is why it is extremely difficult to produce scholarly explanations or subsume the protests under neat categories. I call it a “politics of the body”, literally speaking. Any “body” who was discontented or outraged by police violence or felt choked by the authoritarian regime was out in the streets. The emphasis here is on “out in the streets” rather than on any body’s specific or personal motive for being there.

Another reason why the protests are best captured by the term “politics of the body” is the AKP’s waging a war of symbols that made it virtually impossible for general public opinion to get a clear idea of what the resistance stood for. Erdogan and other AKP spokespeople exploited religious values by propagating unverified claims or blowing certain incidents out of proportion,10 imposed an outright censure on the mainstream “penguin” media,11 and let loose stick-bearing thugs to beat protesters as part of its strategies to make Occupy Gezi seem like the feat of coup plotters. Turkish public opinion was divided into two: those who supported the Gezi protests and those who thought this was part of a grand global conspiracy or that the protests were the making of illegal organizations or vandals. Making the resistance visible thus became a major stake. In order for any demand addressed to the government to be heard, the bodies in the streets and squares had first to make visible the claim that they were a force to be reckoned with, whatever the specific reason for the frustration may be.

One governmental tactic deployed to give out mixed signs as to its treatment of the protests involved handpicking certain “representatives” to open a “dialogue” concerning the fate of the Gezi Park. Under severe pressure from worldwide opinion, Prime Minister Erdogan first announced he was meeting with architects, artists, students and academics, most of whom were not involved in the protests at all. Upon criticisms, he then had to invite representatives from the Taksim Solidarity Platform, the umbrella structure composed of more than 80 organized groups at Gezi. Instead of a real encounter, however, this turned out to be the mise en scene of a dialogue, the conditions of which were more or less already determined.12

That the dialogue was a sham was revealed by the fact that the state apparatuses could not even wait for the negotiation attempt to yield fruit.13 Two warnings and a command were enough to launch an assault to evacuate the park on the eve of June 14. They built walls of flesh and steel against the resisting bodies that produced an alternative sociability in the park to expunge them from the space in which physical resistance could be transformed into a lifestyle. The police thus “freed” public space from the public.

What was destroyed was not only the alternative lifestyle set up at Gezi, but also the endeavor to commemorate the victims of state violence. The park was like an open-air newspaper where groups become aware of the many problems of Turkish society. Trees and barricades were named after the victims of state violence. The “Gezi commune”, as it was called by some of the residents, hosted a public library and a minimuseum. Every available space had a poster or banner on it, narrating a historical or political story. One striking example was the sign put up by the Armenian Nor Zartonk organization, claiming that the Gezi Park was built on top of the Surp Hagop Armenian Cemetery, allegedly destroyed by the racist strand of Turkish nationalism at the beginning of the 20th century.

The moment they entered the park, the police started collecting all the banners, pictures and colorful signs one by one to erase them from social memory.14 The only thing that remained was the politics of the body. Gezi was the struggle of disorderly bodies, of those who did not have any dispositif other than their bodies, against retaliatory machines. The words and signs were taken away from these bodies, but the bodies persisted in gathering in public space instead of dispersing or disappearing outright. The physical presence of the bodies performatively enacted the demands that were being silenced through material and immaterial means by the forces of the state. It was as if bodies were operating a kind of scission (or a de-cision) in a zone of indecision. As against the representative calculus of the administration, the bodies that took heart from knowing that they were not alone did not count on percentages to convene in communal or virtual spaces. They began intervening into the very conditions under which the forces of the state could divide the population into numbers that do “count” numbers that are “uncountable”.15

This became all the more clear with an event that took place shortly after the evacuation of the park. One man stood silently in the middle of Taksim Square for eight hours on 17 July. He did not utter any slogans, carried no indication as to why he was standing and refused to talk either to the police or to the journalists. This one “standing man” (as he was later dubbed by the resistance) sufficed for thousands of others to start standing in public squares, thus initiating a new form of protest.16 After all, “one” was also a number and its persistent presence in public space was enough to throw the state apparatus into disarray.17

Indeed, the state seeks order; it can control only those whom it orders. It is composed of “organizations that restratify everything, formations that restore power to a signifier, attributions that reconstitute a subject”.18 It cannot cope with the demand of “freedom”; it has to ask questions such as “freedom for whom”, “freedom for what” or “freedom under what circumstances” in order to tuck freedom into orderly boxes. It aims to draw borders and fix identities. It attempts to re-establish hierarchies. For instance, by telling parents to take their daughters and sons home from the park, the Istanbul governor attempted to brand the resisting bodies as “children”. The discursive tactic consisted of deploying the family, the nucleus of society, as a trope of order.19 Through its rhetoric of security, moreover, the establishment attributed the risks of its own making to the resisting bodies. It chose to hang its own flag or banner on the bodies that it preferred to knock down rather than protect. It used punishment as a means of retaliation. It operated through censorship, threats and propaganda, if not by outright annihilation. Six of the bodies struggling for Gezi lost their lives during the tug-of-war between the government and protesters. Thousands of bodies were beaten up; some lost their eyes; some received irretrievable injuries.

Be that as it may, the bodies that produced the Gezi politics differed from what Giorgio Agamben calls “bare life”. They were not “mere” bodies that the arbitrary will of a sovereign could isolate from society, oppress unceremoniously or push to the margins of the symbolic world.20 Rather, they evoked what Ernst Bloch has once called “the upright man”, the collective Prometheus. Bloch writes:

Nothing is more fortifying than the call to begin from the beginning. It is youthful as long as it is; to it there belongs a young and aspiring class. It is innocent of the bad things that have happened, for it has never had a real opportunity to be guilty. When this happens, justice has the effect of a morning; it opposes itself to that eternal sickness which was handed down before it. Beginning anew is freshness through and through; it is a first if it appears completely ahistorical, and if it seems to lead back to the beginning of history ... It carries the image of the pastoral mood, of the shepherd, of the simple and upright man; one can play with it even in the dark.21

For, if at Gezi the state’s machines were regulatory instances that followed commands and extorted public spaces of circulation with force and violence, then the force they faced can be construed as the resistance of a multiplicity of bodies.

As Michael Hardt defines it, the “multitude is not a body in the sense that Hobbes theorized the body politic; it is rather a corporeal assemblage that acts as a living multiplicity.”22 At Gezi, this “living multiplicity” flourished at the most unexpected moments and places, just like weeds that crack the concrete and spring out of it. No apparatus of the state could succeed in dominating it absolutely. It challenged borders and moved beyond them. It opened up to circulation those spaces that are closed off due to construction; it painted such destructive vehicles as bulldozers pink; it transformed steps into tribunes, pieces of iron into wish trees and trees destined to be cut down into monuments. It walked on highways and bridges that are closed to pedestrians under “normal” circumstances. It left its marks on every surface. It disrupted silence at times with pots and pans,23 and at other times with a tune from a piano. It played with identities and definitions; it rendered them fluid and indistinguishable. It could make fun of both itself and the established order thanks to its humor. By changing one single letter in a word, it ridiculed the heaviest of symbolisms. The multitude of bodies turned into thousands of fingers that tweeted and took photographs to counter the propaganda churned out by the establishment. When the state apparatus sent riot-intervention vehicles to pour tear gas on it, this “living multitude” stopped to catch its breath and then went back to resisting. When a body grew tired, it got replaced by a reinvigorated one.

The point, however, is that this body politic did not constitute a unitary whole. Although the protesters frequently referred to themselves as “the people” as against the government or the state, they had no single identity that could exhaust the movements and bodily differences that made up the “event” of resistance. The main struggle at Gezi was between the principle of unity and the lines of flight of multiplicity. Against centralized structures that impose dualisms, amputate offshoots and dominate significations, the bodily resistance was akin to the rhizome, described by Deleuze as such:

It is composed not of units but of dimensions, or rather directions in motion. It has neither beginning nor end, but always a middle ... from which it grows and which it overspills. It constitutes linear multiplicities with n dimensions having neither subject nor object, which can be laid out on a plane of consistency.24

The resisting bodies naturally did have a language, even a few languages that were at times congruent and at others incongruent; however, as a whole, they constituted a politics of the body. The languages that these bodies spoke were weighed down by the discursive normative fault lines running across Turkish society. But the very act of resisting as a body, as a physical “thereness”, deferred ideological quarrels or shortcuts. As long as they stayed in contact, as long as they endured in resisting, they grew accustomed to each other’s colors, languages and genders. It was as if the unspoken and unwritten resolve to disavow the AKP government’s norms and mode of operation had created a bond that could transcend social and political divisions. Indeed, the bodies were “vocalizing” their frustration and demands by occupying space, irrespective of what they were saying (or writing) about their physical, corporeal presence. The most univocal signifier that emanated from Gezi resistance was the “performativity of the body that crosses language without ever quite reducing to language”.25

As such, the resisting bodies disrupted the behavioral rules that ideologies and institutions expected from them. For instance, the natural or moral instinct of protection attributed to mothers lost ground when female bodies participated in the protests alongside their children. The Turkish nationalist and the Kurd exchanged anti-acid solutions in gas- filled hotel lobbies. Orthodox Marxists could not decide under which class struggle these bodies were to be subsumed. Soccer fans saved their curses for the police rather than for rival clubs or for LGBTT individuals defending the barricades together with them.

The power of these bodies stemmed from their capacity to mutualize endurance, rather than vulnerability, as Butler envisioned they would:

Although one may be shorn of protection, to be sure, one is not reduced to some sort of “bare life”. On the contrary, to be shorn of protection is a form of political exposure, at once concretely vulnerable, even breakable, and potentially and actively defiant, even revolutionary. The bodies that assemble together designate and form themselves as “we, the people”, targeting those forms of abstraction that would act as if those social and bodily requirements for life can be destroyed for the sake of neoliberal metrics and market rationalities.26

What came out of all this, at least for those who confronted the police throughout June, was trust, not chaos. The life woven together by bodies born in Gezi was so tenacious that the government was actually right in fearing it. The unitary and unifying power structures of the state were called upon to confront the tangible endurance of “any body” who opposed it. However, “every body” who was empowered, subjectified and made visible by the collective power that included and/or exceeded each individual’s capabilities and preferences stood up to the government for well over a month.

To conclude, what happened throughout June 2013 in Turkey was novel, in the sense that our conventional political categories fail to explain or grasp its dynamics. For some time now, social scientists are pointing to ways in which popular uprisings or collective movements defy conceptual or explanatory frameworks pertaining to earlier social movements. Such notions as “new social movement”, “swarm”, “multitude”, “rhizome” have been proposed to capture the loose, vertical kinetics of resistance. The latter range from the Zapatista uprising and the World Social Forums in the 1990s and 2000s to the various Occupy movements in the past decade. These particular forms of resistance reveal the nature of the powers that they challenge, as much as they disclose the main axes of critique leveled at contemporary politics and sociality. Gezi was one such revelatory movement. One would need to look into the extensive interstices of this politics of the body, rather than turn to macro-level discourses, to begin deciphering it.


  • 1 Tear gas was the most threatening means of crowd dispersal used by the police. Gas masks and swimmer goggles were used to protect the face, while anti-acid solutions were mainly sprayed on skin that came into contact with the gas to deal with burns.
  • 2 Allegations concerning how the masses that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gathered in Istanbul and Ankara as a show of force in response to the Gezi protests included handing out checks to partisans, providing shuttle buses and ferries to transfer them to meeting sites, distributing flags and sandwiches. Cf. “AKP’lilere doThimda dev hizmet”, Sozcu, 14 June 2013; “Kazh^me Ba^bakan Erdogan’a hazirlaniyor”, Radikal, 15 June 2013; “Direni^iye gaz, AKP’liye bedava metrobus”, Cumhuriyet, 16 June 2013.
  • 3 “Ba^bakan: Yuzde 50’yi evinde zor tutuyorum”, Hurriyet, 4 June 2013.
  • 4 Against Erdogan’s claim that he could gather a million people at the Istanbul meeting, academics from Bogazi^i University estimated that the actual number was 295,000. Cf. “Erdogan 1 milyon dedi ama Kazh^me’de ka^ ki§i vardi?”, Medyafaresi, 16 June 2013, http://www.medyafaresi.com/haber/110571/ yasam-erdogan-i-milyon-dedi-ama-kazlicesmede-kac-kisi-vardi.html; “Bogazi^i’li akademisyenler Kazli^e^medeki katilimci sayisini hesapladi”, Radikal, 16 June 2013.
  • 5 Cf. http://www.odatv.com/n.php?n=kim-bu-basbakanin-hedefindeki-faiz- lobisi—0906131200.
  • 6 “Emek protestosuna sert mudahale”, Radikal, 7 April 2013.
  • 7 Cf. Turkish Union of Architects and Engineers’ Chambers (TMMOB) Istanbul Branch report, “3. Kopru Degerlendirme Raporu”, September 2010. http://www.spoist.org/dokuman/Raporlarimiz/spoist_3.koprurapor.pdf.
  • 8 As defined by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (London: Verso, 1985).
  • 9 Konda Report, “Gezi Parki Ara^tirmasi: Kimler, Neden Oradalar ve Ne Istiyorlar?”, 6-7 June 2013.
  • 10 Cf. “Yakinimin ortulu gelinini yerlerde suruklediler”, Sabah, 11 June 2013; “Erdogan ‘camiye i^kiyle girdiler’ iddiasini tekrarladi”, Hurriyet, 10 June 2013.
  • 11 CNN Turk was broadcasting a documentary on the mating habits of penguins as Gezi was being assaulted by the police.
  • 12 “Ba^bakanla goru^ecek Gezi heyeti belli oldu”, Radikal, 11 June 2013; “Son karar Gezi’nin”, Milliyet, 13 June 2013.
  • 13 “Polis Gezi Parki’na girdi”, Milliyet, 15 June 2013.
  • 14 The Istanbul governor justified the removal of the posters by saying that they were “tainting Turkey’s image abroad”. “Mudahale yok, pankartlari toplayacagiz”, Hurriyet, 11 June 2013.
  • 15 Judith Butler and Athena Athanasiou, Dispossession: The Performative in the Political (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013), 100.
  • 16 “‘Duran Adam’ Salgini”, Hurriyet, 18 June 2013.
  • 17 The video showing the police trying to figure out what to do with the standing man (whether to arrest him, how to report the case to superiors, etc.) was viewed more than 30,000 times on YouTube. http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=ZVHN6gMKah8.
  • 18 Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 9.
  • 19 “Istanbul Valisi Mutlu: Gelin ^ocuklarinizi alin, can guvenlikleri yok”, Hurriyet, 12 June 2013.
  • 20 Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer, Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998).
  • 21 Ernst Bloch, Natural Right and Human Dignity (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987), 61.
  • 22 Michael Hardt and Thomas L. Dumm, “Sovereignty, Multitudes, Absolute Democracy: A Discussion between Michael Hardt and Thomas L. Dumm about Hardt and Negri’s Empire”, Theory & Event 4(3), 2000. http://muse.jhu. edu/journals/theory_and_event/v004/4.3hardt.html.
  • 23 Banging on pots and pans at 9 pm every day was a form of protest developed in February 1997 to demand investigation into the “Susurluk event” that revealed the link between the state, the mafia and elected politicians. The center-right and conservative coalition government that was then in power was brought down by the show of military force at the end of a month of growing protest, later to be called the “28th of February process”. This refers to the ultimatum issued by the National Security Council in 1997 against the governing coalition on grounds that the secular principles of the republic were being threatened. The Welfare Party (RP), one of the parties in the coalition, was the ultra-conservative predecessor of the ruling AKP. For conservatives in Turkey, this form of protest is reminiscent of the alliance between secular Republicans and the Turkish Armed Forces. Cf. http://www. internethaber.com/tencere-tava-eylemi-neden-yapiliyor-543796h.htm.
  • 24 Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, 21.
  • 25 Judith Butler, “Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street”, European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies Web Journal 9, 2011. http://www.eipcp. net/transversal/1011/butler/en.
  • 26 Judith Butler, “Freedom of Assembly or Who Are the People?”, lecture delivered at Bogazi^i University, Istanbul, 15 September 2013.
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