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Onur Bakiner


Gezi at One: Rethinking the Legacy of the Protests

[Graffiti near Taksim Square, 1 June 2014. Image by michaket /]

One year ago, I asked the question: “Can the ‘Spirit of Gezi’ Transform Progressive Politics in Turkey?” As a sympathetic observer oscillating between optimism and despair in the aftermath of the brutal crackdown on Gezi, I offered a qualified response: “The question has two interrelated aspects: on the one hand, it is about transforming social interactions hitherto marked by social, cultural, and emotional gaps; on the other hand, it is about imagining the possibility of a ...

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Can the 'Spirit of Gezi' Transform Progressive Politics in Turkey?

[Students, unions, NGOs, women's organizations, and rival football fans at Gezi Park, 8 June 2013. Photo by Mehmet Kaçmaz/Nar Photos.]

One of the humorous slogans invented by the Gezi Park protesters was: “We are Mustafa Keser’s soldiers!” The namesake of this insider joke is a folk singer who has nothing to do with politics except the accidental similarity between his name and that of the founder of the republic, Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk). The slogan was minted in response to the Kemalist protesters, who identified themselves as “Mustafa Kemal’s soldiers.” Despite this joke and many other reasons for ...

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Onur Bakiner



Onur Bakiner is Assistant Professor of International Studies at Simon Fraser University. He is currently working on a book manuscript called The Politics of Truth Commissions: Memory, Power and Legitimacy in the Contemporary World. His research and teaching interests include memory politics, transitional justice, judicial politics, regional integration, and normative political theory.