Session on Turkey Protests

September 24, 2013

Yesterday, I attended a session at James Madison University with a Turkish professor talking about the recent protests in Turkey (JMU is helping protect the speaker by not releasing the name). It was a fascinating, informative, and action-packed presentation about different messages and aspects of the protest movement. The talk, which was titled "The Story of a Tree: Creativity, Humor and Protest in Turkey," drew a large crowd to learn about the democratic protest movement in an important nation literally at the intersection of the Middle East and Europe. The speaker covered a lot different slogans, banners, images, personalities, and strategies in the rhetoric of the protesters, including highlighting nonviolent and humorous aspects of the messages. Although I had seen some parts of the movement, most of the content covered in the presentation I had not previously heard. It will be interesting to see if there are outgrowths of the nonviolent protests, especially with national elections coming in Turkey next year. Regardless, it is good for us to hear from experts about the political and social dynamics of their nations.

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