The book chapter co-authored by Barika Göncü, PhD (BİLGİ Department of Public Relations), Erkan Saka, PhD (BİLGİ Department of Public Relations) and Anıl Sayan, (Research Asst. at BİLGİ Faculty of Communication) has been published within the book “Protest Public Relations: Communicating Dissent and Activism”. The book is published by Routledge.
The Gezi Park Protests in Istanbul, Turkey, which lasted all through the Summer of 2013 with the participation of over 3 million citizens, have already created substantial academic literature. Activists’ and protesters’ new media usage was highly emphasized in this literature. However, an understudied issue is the fact that protesters employed a series of techniques that can be classified as Activist, Dissent or Protest PR to apply pressure on the government and the policy makers and to gain broader support from citizens. We have conducted in-depth interviews with protest leaders from a wide range of the ideological spectrum, we have employed participant observation, and we relied on the secondary and archival material to substantiate our claims that the Gezi Park Protests represent one of the best contemporary examples of protest PR in practice. Our study demonstrates that although the public relations activities during the protests were dominantly reactive, the protesters were able to design and implement flexible, timely, and result oriented activities by considering the social tendencies of Turkey and different stakeholders in and around the Gezi Park.