Social Media And Istanbul’s Protests: Four Things You Need To Know

Keep Calm and #DuranAdam

Keep Calm and #DuranAdam

This past Saturday, police forces lined up outside of Istanbul’s Gezi Park — the center of a three week protest against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan — gave warning, and moved in.

In a matter of hours, the massive encampment set up by thousands of demonstrators was torn apart and emptied of people. As police and protesters then clashed throughout the rest of the city, workers disposed of what remained in the park.

With still Gezi empty, social media, used extensively in the demonstrations’ early days, now plays an even more important role. With no central location to coordinate action and spread information, the protesters are using it to fill the void left behind. Here are four things you should know about that use:

1. Post-Gezi, Social Gives The Protests Life After Gezi Park was cleared, the Turkish government made clear that subsequent protests there and in the nearby Taksim Square would not be tolerated. “From now on the state will unfortunately have to consider everyone who remains there a supporter or member of a terror organization,” said Turkey’s EU Minister Egemen Bağış, referring to Taksim. The warning was enough to keep the masses away until a man named Erdem Gunduz decided to take a risk, standing motionless in Taksim Square for hours in silent protest. After people caught on to what Gunduz was up to, they started tweeting about it. Soon, #duranadam, meaning standing man, was the world’s top Twitter trend. Hundreds joined Gunduz in the square that night, standing still beside him and risking arrest. Gunduz was eventually detained and then let go, but his simple act of dissent turned into a new form of national protest and others around Turkey staged #duranadam protests of their own. If the protests are to press on, this will be the way they do it.

2. Twitter is Everywhere With Turkish mainstream news sources falling short in their coverage of the demonstrations, the protesters have hooked themselves to Twitter like an IV. I visited Gezi Park last weekend and, at the conclusion of a number of conversations, the people I was speaking with popped smartphones out of their pockets and immediately loaded Twitter, looking to keep up with the latest developments. One had even downloaded the app but logged into a friends account, not ready to join Twitter himself yet understanding the need to be on it.  Read More


About Rant4u

A Revolution in Social Networking

Posted on June 19, 2013, in #social media and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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