Social Media Analysis of Turkish Environmental Protests

ForSight™ Reveals Street Protests About Much More Than Just Trees

Turkish Protests Social Media Analysis
Last summer, Turks had their own Occupy-style events, which started as an environmental protest after construction vehicles started removing trees in a downtown park at Istanbul. Police intervention quickly generated massive protests, along with more than three million social media conversations in a single day.
Turkish Protests social opinion analysis
Here at Crimson Hexagon, we used our ForSight™ platform to analyze more than 30 million tweets about the events in Turkey, applying our language-agnostic text quantification technology to Turkish-language posts. Trees might have fueled the Istanbul protests, but the analysis shows that events were soon no longer about the environment.
Even in the first day of events, environmental conversation is already dwarfed by complaints about police brutality and calls for protests on Twitter. After the Prime Minister of Turkey calls demonstrators “capulcu” (“looters”), the protestors turned that insult into a self-designation and by the second day had created popular conversation around it. LMFAO’s “Everyday I am shuffling”, for example, was turned into “Everyday I am Chapulling/ Çapuling” and shared widely on social media:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64q2GIqH7S8
Turkish Protests social analysis proportion of posts
The second day of social media conversations showed two other categories reaching their peak: reaction to press indifference and news sharing.  Penguins became a symbol of press criticism and self-censorship, after CNN Turk was seen broadcasting an arctic documentary while the heaviest protests were underway. A pro-protester TV channel later parodied the situation by broadcasting an arctic documentary side by side with the Turkish Prime Minister’s speech on his return from a foreign visit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypuTC_aSN14
In addition to the thematic analysis above, we also analyzed the sentiment of the conversations about the protests in English and found them to be overwhelmingly negative as expected.
Turkish Protests social analysis volumne of posts


ForSight users can also take a peek at demographic information including the most influential authors, and view twitter metrics such as top hashtags as shown below.
Turkish Protests social analysis of influencers
As the Turkish protests reveal once again, it is important to see the forests for the trees while getting every detail about the social media conversations using Crimson Hexagon’s Forsight platform.
Editor’s Note: Aykut Firat and Chris Bingham collaborated on this analysis. 

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