Economic-Political Transition and Popular Resistance in Turkey

A Center for Social Theory and Comparative History colloquium with Cihan Tugal (Sociology, UC Berkeley), Caglar Keyder (Sociology, SUNY Binghamton), Asli Bali (Law, UCLA).

The spring 2013 occupation of Istanbul’s Taksim Square to oppose government plans to demolish a small green public park in the center of the city set off a rebellion whose reverberations are still being felt today.  Our presenters analyze the causes of the revolt, the social-class backgrounds of those who took part, and the escalating demands of the protestors, as well as the role of the square itself as organizing center of resistance and site of experiments in prefigurative politics.  They also situate the movement against the background of the recent evolution of the Turkish economy, long an apparent showcase of neoliberalism but now facing deepening difficulties that reflect new disruptions in global capitalism.  Together these developments have resulted in worsening political instability. The outcome has been deepening conflict among the main religio-political groupings composing the ruling elite and has found expression in the profound constitutional crisis that today engulfs Turkish politics.  The latter constitutes a central theme of the colloquium.

Presenters:

Asli Bali 
School of Law
UCLA

Cihan Tugal 
Department of Sociology 
UC Berkeley

Caglar Keyder
Department of Sociology 
Binghamton University

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Duration: 1:59:39


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