Past Event

A tree revolution grows in Istanbul

From The Atlantic: “Turks Have Learned the Power of Grassroots Politics” by Soner Cagaptay

“Turkey witnessed two fascinating developments last week. In the first, pro-environment groups organized a sit-in to protest government plans to cut down trees in the heart of Istanbul to make way for a shopping mall. Attendance to the sit-in, later dubbed the “Tree revolution,” grew quickly into the thousands, suggesting the birth of a new environmental dynamic in Turkish politics. More importantly, when the security forces cracked down on the sit-in, using teargas and water cannons, tens of thousands of people poured into Istanbul’s streets in the middle of the night to defend their right to protest, as well as the right of people of different ideological stripes to do the same.”

Questions for Consideration 

Why might it be necessary to occupy a public space? In what ways are parks and other public spaces important for a healthy democracy? Why is the Turkish government responding forcefully to the protesters? What is the media’s responsibility in covering the protests in Turkey and why might events like this go without much media coverage?

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