Turkey protests: The 'peace pianist' trying to bring calm to Taksim Square
The soothing sound of a grand piano drifted across Taksim Square last night, bringing a welcome calm a day after violence rocked the area.
Throughout the day protesters had been readying themselves for another assault by police.
In Gezi Park they were stockpiling gas masks and goggles to protect against tear gas, which police used with abandon the night before. The first aid tent was a hive of activity as volunteers laid down tarpaulin and received medical supplies in anticipation of injured protesters. Journalists were shooed away.
In the early evening protesters on one side of the square faced off with police, chanting: “Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance.”
The prime minister had predicted earlier in the day that the protests would be over in 24 hours, and there was a feeling among the crowd that another night of violence lay ahead.
But then, in the space of a few hours, the atmosphere in the square changed; and it had a lot to do with one man and his piano.
Hundreds gathered around German musician Davide Martello as he clinked away late into the evening. They were mostly silent while he played John Lennon’s Imagine, some Bach, and his own composition “Lightsoldiers.”
After playing for an hour at the edge of the square, Martello enlisted the help of his new fans to drag the grand piano closer to the centre, beside Gezi Park.
Martello built the piano himself, attached lights so he could play in the dark, and pulled it on a trailer from his hometown Konstanz, Germany, to play to protesters in Taksim Square.
The evening passed without incident any major incident. Some protesters even had time for a game of football in the square.
After his performance, Martello wrote on Facebook: "Good night Istanbul, tomorrow I will playing again on the square for freedom and our rights."
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...