Gezi-Wiki and Other Techno-Tales

Some interesting Gezi-related techno-factoids from a Forbes article, with a comparison to Egypt.

1. hashtags: The most popular Twitter hashtag “direngezipark” was tweeted 1.8 million times in three days, more than the most popular hashtag of the entire Egyptian uprising in 2011.

2. Language/Location: Most tweets occurred within Turkey’s borders and in Turkish. During Egypt’s Arab Uprising, a majority of tweets tracked by researchers came from outside Egypt and an even greater number used English, in part to try to get outside media attention.

3. Global: A large number of protesters in Turkey, Bosnia, Bulgaria and Brazil have cross-referenced each other through shared protest hashtags after the Gezi protests began.

4. apps: The “Capulcu Tencere” simulates the noise of protesters banging pots and pans at 9pm each night out of solidarity with the Gezi protests (with a Portuguese version for Brazilian protesters). There are also Gezi-themed games (Angry Birds: Angara Birds!).

What’sApp, the group messaging tool, allowed people to find each other after being dispersed by teargas.

5. Live streaming: Keeping a record of what was happening on the streets given lack of coverage by major Turkish broadcasters: Ustream, Vine and, an individual broadcast station created out of Gezi Park.

6. An open forum website, Acik Demokrasi [Open Democracy], became a leading site for concerned people to discuss and vote on ideas related to the Turkish government and the protests. It has 50 active polls created by users and 2,000 daily unique visitors with 13,000 Facebook followers, mostly computer-savvy youths so far.

7. Gezi-Wiki: The old standby, Eksi Sozluk [Sour Dictionary], founded in 1999, is arguably Turkey’s first social network. It’s a Wikipedia-like resource in which users add context and information for individual names and terms. (I was very proud to find an entry “Jenny White”, although some of the content was a bit hair-raising.) The site registered almost 15 million monthly page views in the month of the Gezi protests. “Part of its popularity has been its ability to provide unfiltered perspective from both sides in one handy place.”


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