Identity-based conflicts between newly-formed resistance groups during the Gezi Movement
This study offers a nuanced comparative analysis of the formation of new resistance groups and their identity-based conflicts and argues that the Gezi resistance was not only an act of resistance against authority but was, at the same time, a movement in which some groups raised their voice and made their identity visible for the first time. Within the methods of participatory action research, semi-structured in-depth interviews and qualitative study of the Gezi resistance in Turkey, this study identifies complex relations (between individuals and focused groups) of the social processes of collective mobilization in the first three weeks of May-June 2013. The empirical part of this study is based on the case of the Gezi resistance and two focus groups: Yoğurtçu Women's Forum and the Soccer Team Supporter Group Çarşı which both became visible and politicized during the Gezi resistance. An explanatory concept derived from peace and conflict studies is applied. This approach reveals how the conflict between these groups contributed to and at the same time hindered the Gezi Resistance (or Occupy Taksim, or the June Resistance). The study analyzes these findings about identity-based conflicts and newly-formed group's inner relations by the help of open coding categories and critical localized political discourse. All kinds of identity issues were raised during the resistance – i.e. issues related to class relations, feminism, the diversity of forums and their particular conflicts, the use of violent language towards each other and many others. This study tries to find answers to the following questions: – What was the root cause of conflicts between individuals and newly-formed focused groups in Gezi park? – How and why did identity-based conflicts between groups taking part in the Gezi resistance represent a setback for the Gezi resistance per se? vii – How participants decided to involve during the beginning (the first three weeks of Gezi resistance) and accepted the identity of the newly-formed groups? Why?