In advance of the first anniversary of the Gezi uprising, the wave of popular, Occupy Wall Street-style demonstrations and anti-government protests that spread through Turkey last summer, security forces took measures to prevent protesters from congregating in urban centers, notably Istanbul’s Taksim Square, the nexus and symbol of the movement that began in earnest June 1, 2013. When protesters nevertheless managed to demonstrate en masse this past weekend, riot police resorted to their familiar tactics of tear gas and water cannons to control the crowds. Turkish cops also took the bizarre and brazen step of detaining CNN reporter Ivan Watson while he was on air.
There have been a number of critical developments in Turkey in the year since the world’s eyes were on Gezi Park, the public space in Istanbul whose planned destruction sparked a sit-in that soon became the catalyst for larger protests, Unfortunately, given the capricious nature of the news cycle, those events – which might explain why people are still demonstrating a year later – have occurred largely outside the media spotlight.
As the author of one of the first English-language articles providing in-depth background on the Gezi Resistance movement, it was tempting for me to write a grand, sweeping analysis about what has happened to the movement in the year since its inception, where it went wrong, how it still exists today, what strategic gains it has made, and so on. In fact, there is a whole genre of such “anniversary” reflections already available in the media.
Rather than simply add to the din of analysis and commentary, it may be more useful , especially for those that neither read Turkish nor closely follow Turkish news, to provide substantive, while still accessible, context for where we are and how we got here. To that end, I’ve created the interactive timeline below.
To use the timeline: Click on specific items on the timeline to jump to a specific event. Click on the right or left edge of an event’s description to browse chronologically. You can also use the left and right arrow keys to navigate, after you’ve clicked on the timeline once. You can click and drag on the timeline itself.
This timeline was originally posted on the author’s website.