‘140 Hits of the Uprising’
According to the Gladwell’s point that social media cannot lead to real change. Im disagreed his opinion, because Gezi Protest in Turkey in the summer of 2013 was a strong evidence for efficiency of the social media. In the 31 May 2013 a bunch of students were camping in the Taksim Gezi Parkı for prevent the cutting trees. Very early at the morning Police came to the park and directly burned the students tent for get rid of them. The story started from here; Polices wild brutality waken up millions of people and it turned to a anti-govermental riot. First day to last, mainstream media highly manipulated from the government. These corperations played the 3 monkey game(blind, deaf, mute) in the process of Gezi uprising. When they make news about Gezi they corrupt the truths. For instance; They called protesters as marginal terrorist groups, but the truths is folk is protesting (17 years old highscool kid was in the protest, 65 years old retired civil servant was also in the protests). I need to give the most dramatic example for show how mainstream media was corrupted. In the 11-12 June in Istanbul, police forces made a very brutal intervantion to Taksim Square. The Cnn International was on the live from Taksim square with their experienced war reporters however at the same time Cnn Turk was showing a documentary about penguins in Artics all night long.
The only tool for communication was social media for the protesters. Twitter and Facebook were like the databases of the riots. The meeting times locations, infos about police interventions, hint for protecting from the tear gasses water canons, infos about citizens legal rights in a case of probation, volunteer attorneys and doctors numbers was all shared on social media. Furthermore, because of the lack of mainstream media protesters define them selfs as volunteer reporters in other words ‘we are press now’. Almost every protester take footages with their smartphones for show the world whats happening in Turkey and Turkish Polices brutality. These numerous footages shared in the social media and create a global concern about this demonstrations. Furthermore some of the footages use as evidence in the Gezi related trails (Ethem Sarısuluk case; he shooted from his head with a police bullet in Ankara the third day of the protests, the video of the incident captured by an another protester). In summary, if Turkish citizens don’t have social media tool Gezi revolt couldn’t occur. When we look to the Turkish Government’s attitudes towards the Twitter and Facebook we can easily assume the power of social media. PS: Turkish Government cut the internet access in Taksim at the Gezi uprising times, citizens share their own wifi passwords on twitter for help the protestors. After a couple of months government closed the Twitter website for a week.:)