Turkey protests: 'Woman in red' Ceyda Sungur becomes reluctant symbol of Turkish resistance
Endlessly shared on social media the image of the woman in red has become the leitmotif for female protesters
The incongruity of the woman at the centre of the image is striking; dressed in a red cotton summer dress, shopping bag over one shoulder, she appears almost to have wandered into the scene by accident.
The photograph of an academic Ceyda Sungur wearing a red dress being pepper sprayed by police in Turkey has since gone viral and has become a symbol of the “Occupy Gezi” protests.
Endlessly shared on social media and replicated as a cartoon on posters and stickers, the image of the woman in red has become the leitmotif for female protesters during days of violent anti-government demonstrations in Istanbul.
The image of Sungur, an academic at Istanbul's Technical University, being pepper sprayed was snapped as she walking from her office to Gezi Park and encountered a line of riot police.
"That photo encapsulates the essence of this protest," says maths student Esra at Besiktas, near the Bosphorus strait and one of the centres of this week's protests. "The violence of the police against peaceful protesters, people just trying to protect themselves and what they value."
In one graphic copy of the photograph plastered on walls the woman appears much bigger than the policeman. "The more you spray the bigger we get", reads the slogan next to it.
Both the European Union and the United States have condemned what is perceived as the heavy-handed action of Turkish police against protesters.
Ms Sungur has declined interviews since the image emerged telling Turkish media that she feels uncomfortable being the face of the protests.
"A lot of people no different from me were out protecting the park, defending their rights, defending democracy," she said last week. "They also got gassed."
Yesterday it was reported that Turkish police have detained 25 people for "spreading untrue information" on social media and provoking protests, the state-run news agency said.
The people were detained in the city of Izmir for allegedly "inciting the people to enmity and hate", the Anadolu Agency said, adding that police are still looking for 13 others.
Thousands of protesters have joined anti-government riots expressing discontent with prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's 10-year rule.
Turkey's main broadcast media have been criticised for shunning the coverage of police brutality at the protest onset on Friday, and many people turned to social media to keep up to date with the developments.
Mr Erdogan, who has dismissed the protests as demonstrations organised by an extremist fringe, has referred to the social media as "the worst menace to society".
Video: Images emerge of woman sprayed with tear gas in Turkey
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...