Protester-police fraternization in the 2013 Gezi Park uprisings

The number of anti-regime protests is significantly rising across the globe. Social media is often filled with videos and images showing police brutality targeting demonstrators. Oftentimes, the governments send their police forces to the ground to stop the protests. With the digitalization of these encounters, our study shows that the micro-dynamics of protestor-police interactions are often of a more complex nature than what is presented in the media or social media.

Based on a video data analysis of the Gezi uprisings (2013) in Turkey, we argue that during protests, through their attempts of fraternization with the members of the police, the protesters try to overcome the confrontational tension on the ground. When successful, fraternization helps establish dialogues that transgress in group-outgroup boundaries and reduce the levels of police repression.