A momentary lapse of reason? Gezi in social-historical perspective

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Through the social-historical contextualization of Gezi protests and drawing on the works of Badiou and Turner this article conceptualises the protests as a ‘happening’ or ‘event’ characterized by rupture and liminality. Without underestimating their importance as a meaning creation process, it is argued that the visions inspiring Gezi have been/are in sharp contrast to the version of democracy shaped by the fears and aspirations of at least a plurality of the country's citizenry and enacted by the Justice and Development Party (AKP). At the same time, these visions remain largely incomprehensible to the Kemalist and nationalist opposition. The paper therefore suggests that Gezi should be located outside the linear time and conventional topography of Turkish politics and interpreted as a brief, powerful moment of rupture in a political system where both the incumbent political forces and the opposition and their constituencies are resisting change and consider extra-institutional ‘antipolitics’ as a threat.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-93
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Historical Sociology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 1
Publication categoryResearch