Friday, 28 June 2013 10:38


Written by Julia Schulte

Facing tear gas and water cannons, Istanbul's youth gets creative over the Gezi Park events.

Photo: Julia Schulte
Anti-Erdogan slogans on walls

Recently, Istanbul's biggest Open Air Festival took place. For six days, young people turned the city's main square into a party area. There was camping, there were concerts and discussions. Families with young children joined as well as tourists, who took pictures on barricades and demolished cars, turning a revolution into a fun park site. The mobile traders, always business-minded, sold grilled fish and köfte, sesami rings, tea, coffee, water – and also diving goggles and simple face masks against gas attacks. You could get Turkish flags and Guy Falkes masks. The square was overcrowded during the day but even at about 4.30 am, when the Muezzin chants for the first time, you'd find people wandering around, chatting, eating. Also, someone always had to guard the barricades and claim territory by spraying new slogans on walls and streets. Starting with 'Tayyip istifa' (Tayyip resign) and 'Her yer Taksim' (Taksim is everywhere), people got more and more creative.

Photo: Julia Schulte
Protesting dogs?!

To organise an event like this you would usually have to consider massive security risks. But here it is most peaceful when the police are gone. People value a new solidarity and there is no major incident on the weekend. Even more, the protesters start joking about Erdogan's words: at the beginning of the protests, he called them 'capulcu' (looters).  Soon, everybody wears badges saying 'Dikkat (Attention) capulcu'.

And there is more to come: Istanbul's citizens are born merchants and soon everybody is buying T-shirts saying 'Everyday I'm chapulling.' A clothing campain couldn't be coordinated better. There is even a video on Youtube now with the song to go with the T-shirt.

And Istanbul's inhabitants aren't the only ones turn into artists, T-shirt designers, directors over the recent events. This year's Erasmus students in Istanbul decided on doing their very own support movie to show their fellow students that they are not alone out there.


There is the story on Facebook of some Besiktas football fans who called the police, when it stayed quiet for some time: 'Where are you? We haven't seen you in the last days, we are getting worried!' And even with Taksim and Gezi being cleared of protestors now, it is not likely that the manifestations are going to stop very soon. Erdogan's words are subverted by his opponents. 'You forbid alcohol?' they ask. 'Look at us now: All sobered up. Are you happy?' And to his statement that every Turkish woman should have three children, protesters simply reply: 'Are you sure you want three of me?'


Last modified on Saturday, 22 April 2017 00:19

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