Gezi Park Protests in Turkey: A Party Politics View

Yardimci-Geyikci S.

POLITICAL QUARTERLY, vol.85, no.4, pp.445-453, 2014 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 85 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/1467-923x.12112
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.445-453
  • Keywords: Gezi Park protests, party system, Turkey, party government, polarisation, representation
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


One year on from the widespread protests in Turkey, the question of why small environmental protests against the building of a shopping mall on Gezi Park in the centre of Istanbul turned into the biggest example of mass civil movement in the republic's history remains unanswered. This article suggests that one can easily detect signs of instability and social unrest in the country long before these mass demonstrations took place. By analysing the evolution of the Turkish party system over the past decade, I argue that the political upheaval in the country is the result of a crisis of representation. This has two aspects: a high degree of polarisation has left certain segments of society unrepresented, while the AKP government has ceased to maintain the balance between responsiveness and responsibility.