9 Haziran 2013

4 Neologism in Social Movement Mediated by Social Media “Chapulling-Çapuling”

Neologism in Social Movement Mediated by Social Media “Chapulling-Çapuling” 


I am going to present a new word invention “Chapulling/in English-Çapuling in Turkish” that is originated from Turkish protests at 2013 based on the speech of Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.[1]

Word invented in social media and spread trough on it. Even a lot of people used this word on their T-shirts, posters as a slogan.[2] It became a motto during the protest and several different group organized events as a 'Çapulcu' and they defined their actions as “We are chapulling.!” 

I would like to discuss this action in order to Super-diversity, Super-vernacular and neologism concepts in social movements. One of the scope of this text is trying to explain those kind of neologisms by taking the medium into account. 


A peaceful protest to protect the last public park in Istanbul's center from being a shopping mall, turned into a big nation-wide demonstration upon unbalanced use of force (gas bombs, water cannons, beating) by police, leaving many severely injured, some killed. The prime minister, who's been governing the country as almost ignores the public opinion, did not take action, and threatened the demonstrators. Worse, police violence and demonstrations in over 40 cities didn't take place in Turkish TVs, for first 3 days which apparently have fear of the government, as many anti-government journalists are in prison, since the judiciary has been taken over by pro-government officials.[3] 

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has governed since 2002. Since 2011, the AKP has increased restrictions on freedom of speech, freedom of the press and internet use [4], television content [5], as well as the right to free assembly.[6] 

Several different protest has held during the restrictions. Large internet use density and censorship on televisions led people to use social media platforms more effective. A lot of new symbol [7], motto and neologism created.[8] 

Social media played very important role and has witnessed to created new meanings and political language usage.[9]

During the social movements in which social media provided space and continuum for neologisms has had importance for internet users.[10] And yet plenty of protologisms[11] has spread out trough the internet.[12] 

Effective support of social media to the social movements has opened a new era and new concepts like social networking.[13] Some functional needs during the social movements has emerged and definitely created a natural link to social media, internet and of course to a language.[14] 

Social Media could have facilitated civic engagement and collective action[15] by strengthen outreach efforts, enable engaging feedback loops and increase the speed of communication and could have served people to create a new type of relationship.[16] 

Not just the lexical features of the words but the meanings of the words have been creating and a new horizon with a new convention totally been launching and designing on internet. What would you say if I was told you 'I'm going to coffee party'.[17] Would you say 'grab one cup of coffee for me' or do I mean “I'm going to discuss very important issues with people in coffee shops?[18] How would you know that the “Coffee Party” is a name of social movement that has occurred in USA? As seen, nowadays a lot of word and phrases are under construction. 


Chapulling[19] is a new brand neologism created by protesters and regenerated from Turkish word “çapulcu” in the 2013 protests in Turkey and based on Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's speech while describing the demonstrators.[20] Term of 'çapulcu' includes a lot of different meaning in English. We can roughly translate it to 'looter', 'marauder' or 'raider'. In fact the word itself presently has representational meaning after PM's speech. Turkish Language Association[21] changed the meaning of this word from the dictionaries in order to PM's speech.[22] 

At the beginning before the protests the meaning of the word was literally very close to “looter” but it has changed by TDK in response to PM's speech and now the new meaning is “rebel”. New representation of the word is quite fictional. According to Oriental Turkish Dictionary[23] published in France at 1870 [24], “çap” is raid and “çapulcu” is raider and evaluated into modern Turkish as “looter” later on. 

During the protests the word “çapuling-chapulling”quickly caught on, adopted and anglicized by the demonstrators and online activists with a new meaning as “fighting for one's rights.” Many took the concept and integrated it as “to act towards taking the democracy of a nation to the next step by reminding governments of their reason for existence in a peaceful and humorous manner”. 

By distribution of this word many people embraced and internalized this word as a motto as an identification of themselves. As chief data scientist of Bitly[25] Hilary Manson says: 

“The things you share are things that make you look good, things which you are happy to tie into your identity.”[26] 

People were happy to tie “chapulling” into their identity! 

Super-diverse, Super-vernacular Usage In Response to “Chapulling” 

Fast collaboration, mixed languages, diverse meaning, social network usage, derivative and connotational features of social media language practices defines the super-diverse and super-vernacular concepts. 

As we see at “chapulling” example creation of the word done by international collaboration via internet even Chomsky joined the collaboration.[27] Global flow of information strike people without any limitation of space and time. Any new word embraced by people who are already ready to understand. If the limit of our world is the limit of our language seems that our world has been enlarged by significant scale since the internet and especially social media leaked into our life. 

Globalization in the internet age has generated social , cultural and linguistic superdiversity. Increasing fragmentation and diversification of the conventional cultural patterns allowed us reifying new type of communication with the new type of language. Since now we can't define language as a whole entity and which has certain borders.[28] 

In a sociolinguistic manner shifting on borders of language described by Blommaert [29]

“We now observe new – or previously unnoticed – patterns of sociolinguistic distribution in which certain specific sociolinguistic resources are adopted by communities of users that share non of the traditional attributes of speech communities – territorial fixedness, physical proximity, socio-cultural sharedness and common backgrounds. People now use similar sociolinguistic resources without sharing any of these traditional features of community. And such loose, elastic, dynamic and deterritorialized communities are among the key features of superdiversity.” 

In super-diverse and super-vernacular point of view “chapulling” same as written in Turkish “çapuling” is a 'World English'[30] concept. By mixing Turkish word “çapul” with English affix “-ing” our new word “çapuling” with derivation by proper English to “chapulling” shows us two different neologism as well. One for Turkish use and one for English use. Even superdiverse structure of this case is a good example for supervernacular practice. 

As Blommeart says [31]

“One supervernacular that immediately appears to offer itself for such description is, of course, English – the ‘language’ that dominates the global circulation of texts and messages through the Internet. But we have to be specific about this. The so-called ‘world Englishes’ we now observe in an ever-growing literature can in actual fact be seen as dialects of a supervernacular. The supervernacular is an imagined standard of ‘English’, and the dialects are the actually occurring ‘world Englishes’: specific local or regional realizations of English, tied to and embedded in local and regional sociolinguistic economies and emerged out of processes that bear all the features of dialects. This, we can say, is a simple terminological issue in which we suggest a particular vocabulary for addressing ‘World Englishes’.” 

On the other side supervernacular situation and “World Englishes” concepts can not be understood without the aim of communication in internet and the medium of social platforms. People can represent themselves more concretely more than represents themselves in real life at face to face interaction. Even the meaning of word can be changed [32]

“After joining a social network site, users are prompted to identify others in the system with whom they have a relationship. The label for these relationships differs depending on the site—popular terms include "Friends," "Contacts," and "Fans." Most SNSs(social network sites) require bi-directional confirmation for Friendship, but some do not. These one-directional ties are sometimes labeled as "Fans" or "Followers," but many sites call these Friends as well. The term "Friends" can be misleading, because the connection does not necessarily mean friendship in the everyday vernacular sense, and the reasons people connect are varied.” 

What about changing dynamics of everyday supervernacular sense? 


Social movements are a type of group action. Those group actions are needed to redefine since social media emerged. The question is What kind of meanings could words generate in fastest times for communication which means communication at social movements via internet?

Another question is What kind of representations do exist in social movements which are using social media?

Or could we ask: What is code-switching in political movements? 
Or can we consider “chapulling” as a supervernacular? In which sense? 

Finally can we ask that Does global social movements need “World Englishes”? 

One way or another irresistible speed of communication in between the agents of the social movements within the social platforms creates the super-diverse and super-vernacular meaning world. That world in which defines new features of social movements. 

What we have learnt just by one word on global resistance against the restrictions of governments and against the international companies is the resistance colorful, super-diverse, can be mixed languages to define their global demands. 

Isn't it the time to ask ourselves that despite the super-diverse and international character of the social movements why governents are still national and still trying to unify the nations and strengthen the borders. 

It's not time to consolidate the policies of nations it's time to consolidate the awareness of being world citizen. It's time to chapulling for all!


[23]M. Pavet de Courteille, Dictionnaire Turk-Oriental Destiné Principalement à Faciliter la Lecture des Ouvrages de Bâber Imprimé par l'ordre de l'empereur à l'Imprimerie impériale, 1870, Paris
[28]Vertovec, S. Super-diversity and Its Implications. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 2007.
[30]Ibid. p.5
[31]Ibid. p.5

image source: 

4 yorum:

  1. Yazı ingilizce yazılmış yorumumu da ingilizce yazayım :)

    Thank you for your writing. Even this protests came out from a non-political intellectual groups, it is spread to nation wide with nationalist type of feelings. So, we shouldn't underestimate the role of the neo-nationalist groups' effect on this protests. On the other hand, still most of the "Gezi Park" inhabitants are just against all kind of restrictions and totalitarianism. That's a good thing!

  2. Mesaj için teşekkürler Oğuz. Yazıyı uluslararası tayfa için yazmıştım. Fakat genişletilmiş ve daha kapsamlı ve belki farklı başlıklar altında 3-5 kelam daha edeceğim bu konu ve çevreleyen konular hakkında ama bu sefer Türkçe :)Ben de ingilizce attırayım dur :)

    What can I do sth. It's the tabela that's the tabela. Some okazyons sam posibilitiğiz. :P

  3. :D
    eyvallah kolay gelsin
    damn some things!

  4. Easily Boost Your ClickBank Commissions And Traffic

    Bannerizer made it easy for you to promote ClickBank products by banners, simply visit Bannerizer, and get the banner codes for your favorite ClickBank products or use the Universal ClickBank Banner Rotator to promote all of the available ClickBank products.


Anonim kullanıcı olarak göndereceğiniz yorumlarda mail ya da blog adresi gibi iletişim adreslerinizi belirtmeniz önemle rica olunur.

SST Atölye