The only thing not known how to be dealt with: Political humor as a weapon during Gezi Park Protests
This study investigates the underlying grounds and outcomes of nationwide antigovernment demonstrations that began as an environmentalist protest against the razing of Gezi Park in Istanbul. Humor became a weapon for the protestors for targeting and degrading Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the government and the police forces. Captions, caricatures, graffiti, posters and slogans that were used as a means for humorous criticism of social reality in Turkey proliferated during and after this period. The slogan "the only thing they do not know how to deal with is passive activism and humor" was prevalent among protestors. The phrase 'disproportionate intelligence', which was used as an umbrella term for all humorous material, showed the protestors' effort to react to the disproportionate violence they were exposed to while positioning themselves as more civilized and able as compared to the police and the government who could only resort to violence. This study includes semiotic analyses of composition and content of examples with humorous content.