Image used courtesy of Eser Karadağ, under Creative Commons licensing.

As the #OccupyGezi protests have surged, Turkish mainstream media has foundered. Citizen journalists–“sivil gazeteci,” in Turkish–have stepped in. This is what they’ve shown us.

Though a successful democracy by many standards, Turkey has more journalists in jail than any other country.  Through financial penalties and legal intimidation, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have ensured that Turkish news networks either have a pro-AKP slant or censure themselves entirely. Saturday evening, while CNN Turk was showing a documentary on penguins, protesters gathered momentum in…




and even pro-AKP Konya:

Turkey’s English-language newspapers even reflected a very different report than the Turkish versions.  The Turkish people’s loss of faith in accurate reporting in Turkish media was bolstered by the reports being shared on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Reddit, showing that people from all facets of Turkish society were there to take a stand against the deterioration of their civil rights at the expense of increasingly pro-Islamist or neoliberal policies.

"Call for Citizen journalists" No media (like mainstream) We are all correspondents Save-Publish-Verify-Share
Call for Citizen journalists
No mainstream media
We are all correspondents
Save >> Publish
Verify >> Share
Let’s make historical evidence
Knowledge is Power

By the fifth day of protests, Erdoğan went on national television, calling the protesters “arm-in-arm with terrorists” and telling the protesters “If you bring 100,000, I’ll bring out a million”.  In reaction, “Street Reports” interviewed the protesters themselves, showing  students, mothers, civil servants, the elderly, women in headscarves as well as women without, and even members from varying political parties and soccer clubs, all joined together in the protests.  People are able to watch livestreams, witness the brutality of the police shooting tear gas directly at protesters, into homes, as well as firing water cannons at close-range (Warning: Graphic).

These videos and images enable the world to witness what is happening in real-time, but more importantly, they allow citizens in Turkey to see what is occurring in their own country.

Citizen journalists share videos and photos in both English and Turkish in an effort to provide a more in-depth understanding of what is happening in Turkey right now.

Here are some resources you can use to follow the movement:

Twitter Accounts

Facebook Groups


WITNESS Guide to Filming Protests [English]

Please share your thoughts and your favorite sources in the comments.

Michelle McCloskey spent her formative childhood years in Istanbul and majored in Turkish Language and Literature; she is deeply committed to to the future and the culture of the country.  She recently created Linguaphile, a nonprofit devoted to critical, endangered, dying, and diaspora languages [website under development].

2 thoughts on “Turkey for the People, Filmed by the People

  1. It is perfect time to make a few plans for the long run and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this publish and if I could I wish to counsel you few fascinating things or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to learn more things approximately it!

  2. I’m sorry for thinking that you are the members of the organzation of illumination which is thouhgt by some that you are there to provokate the Turkish Resistance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *