Turkey protests: Squaring up in the name of solidarity
Among the many who have protested in and around Taksim Square over the past weeks, some have made a longer journey than others.
While some Turkish living abroad have been following the protests on rolling news and through social media, a large number have returned to join them.
Yaman Zencirci, a 31-year-old musician, is one of them. He was in Rotterdam, where he is a student, when the protests broke out.
“I was watching videos of peaceful protests broken up with violence from police. We started organising protests there, but it came to a point when we needed to do more,” he said. “In the Netherlands it is easy to protest; here it is not.
“I couldn’t sleep for a while. I realised that this is a very important time for my country, and so decided to come here to join the protests. Around 15 of my friends who were abroad have also come back.”
The same is true of many others among the protesters, the majority of whom are from middle-class backgrounds.
Social media have played a large part in galvanising the protesters here in Taksim Square. A loose coalition of activists calling themselves Taksim Solidarity have set up a website, Twitter account and Facebook page, in both English and Turkish. Through these media they have shared videos and pictures of the protests and ensuing crackdown in the hope of bringing more people to the square.
When the protests first began, Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, singled out Twitter as a reason why the protests had spread.
“Now we have a menace that is called Twitter,” he told reporters on 2 June. “The best example of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society.”
Despite Mr Erdogan’s ire for the social-media site, activists appear to be using it to their advantage.
Selva, a 45-year-old communications specialist, said she was demonstrating to fill in for her daughter until she could return from Europe, where she is studying.
“She can’t wait to come back. She has been following it all on the internet and says she will come as soon as she can.”
Another demonstrator, who did not want to be named, returned with her husband, who came to cover the protests as a journalist.
“I just wanted to show my solidarity. My husband was coming too so I had an excuse, but I wanted to be here myself.”
- 1 Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
- 2 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after she tells Wimbledon star to 'go back where their parents came from'
- 4 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis as it happened: EU chiefs at loggerheads hours before Alexis Tsipras’s last ditch deal proposals
Bakery sends 'horrific' version of Frozen-themed birthday cake to unsuspecting customer
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...