Social media and the “Menace to Society”: Potential and limitations of alternative media in Turkey


  • Sofia Hafdell


In the absence of Turkish mainstream news reporting of the Gezi Park protests in May-June 2013, Turkish citizens effectively turned to sites like Twitter and Facebook to access information from the ground and resist against the Turkish authorities. This generated representations of social media’s role throughout the events as filling the gap left by Turkish media outlets. However, this article argues that representations of social media simply as an alternative to the Turkish mainstream media fail to consider the complexities of how activists used social media as well as the complicated relationship between media and the state, and its consequences for open, democratic debate in Turkey.


Social media, citizen journalism, alternative media, counter-hegemonic representations, rhizomatic media.

Author Biography

Sofia Hafdell

Sofia Hafdell holds a Master’s degree in Communication of Development from Malmö University in Sweden. She works as Project Officer for a Turkish NGO on projects related to Turkish foreign policy and the Syrian refugee crisis, with responsibility for external communication through digital media. She is currently on a leave of absence to the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).