Where Turkey is five years after Gezi Park

It started as an environmental initiative - but at the end of May 2013 it turned into a nationwide wave of protests against Erdoğan's government. Less than a month before the snap elections in Turkey some observers say the spirit of those times is making a comeback. How do Turkish media see the situation?

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Artı Gerçek (TR) /

Spirit of Gezi in search of a body

Political life in Turkey today in no way reflects the call for more democracy of five years ago, Arti Gerçek complains:

“In the Gezi protests different social classes that could be described as apolitical took a joint public stance as political actors. But although five years have passed since then, this politicisation has unfortunately proven unable to either express or organise itself. Even more importantly: none of today's parties has been able to interpret this emerging politicisation correctly and embody the spirit of Gezi. ... The underlying causes of the Gezi protests are as current as ever. And since then Turkey has not become more democratic, but more authoritarian. ... Five years on, the spirit of Gezi still hovers over us, in search of a suitable body.”

Sabah (TR) /

Protests divided Turkish society

By contrast pro-government columnist Hilâl Kaplan argues in Sabah that the Gezi protests had fatal consequences for Turkey:

“The goal of Gezi was to divide society to the point of war. The blame for making our young sacrifice themselves for this evilness lies with these agitators. Since Gezi, a social class has developed whose only political definition lies in the fact that they regard Erdoğan supporters with hostility. They're confused, proud of this confusion. ... It is thanks to Gezi that we are now doomed to a worrying and crippling political culture that offers nothing but the dream of Erdoğan's downfall.”