Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Turkey's Protests -- A Photo Essay

Here is an excellent four-part series from +972 Magazine covering the uprising in Taksim Square and other places in Istanbul, Turkey. 
Lots of pictures and brief commentary. A travelogue. 

Yuval Ben-Ami is an author, journalist, traveler and cultural critic. He was born in Jerusalem in 1976 and raised in diverse corners of the country. He traveled Europe extensively in his twenties, working as a musician. He later moved to the United States and began writing for Israeli and international newspapers and magazines, among them Haaretz, Boston Globe, National Geographic (Israel), and Yedioth Aharonot. M

The name of the site is derived from the telephone area code that is shared by Israel and Palestine.

Published June 5, 2013
Last Metro to Taksim, part 4: The expedition
It’s time to take a look around and see what’s happening off the square, way off the square. Photography by May Castelnuovo.

ISTANBUL/BURSA, Turkey — On the day we arrived, the metro station at Taksim Square was closed. The following day was a Monday. We took the train into town expecting to alight at least one station north of the square. To our surprise, the train went all the way to Taksim. The station was open and we emerged from it with our first sense of normality.

It wasn’t the normal kind of normality. For one, there was a car burning right outside the station, in broad daylight.

But the street-food stalls returned to the square following their weekend break and an overall sense of routine could be felt. Order had been established: The protest movement was in Taksim. The police were in Beşiktaş, and the rest of the city went about its normal business. Daytime is about dancing, nighttime about crying; stuffed clams are yummy, and so is köfte.

[...] on the dawn of our third day, the situation began to seem a bit stagnant. Meanwhile, we are told that other cities are not nearly as relaxed. Last night Ebu Zer showed us a clip filmed in Ankara. In it, a woman is heard begging the police not to gas her residential neighborhood where children are sleeping and older residents suffer from lung ailments. Her plea is not respected. Izmir is said to be the scene of much turmoil, and in Antakya one demonstrator was shot dead.

It’s time to leave Istanbul and we choose the city of Bursa as our destination. It has been the setting of several demonstrations in previous days and is located only three hours away, which would allow us to return swiftly should the police enter Taksim. In the hot afternoon, we board a ferry and head out across the mavi (blue) Marmara Sea.

On board is Turkey’s typical mix of the religious, the secular, the ethnically Turkish and the ethnically otherwise. It’s the very picture of harmony.

This is only a tiny sample. Go to the link for the full series.

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