Inside Taksim Square

I’m sure most of you have seen the pictures on the news from Istanbul and other Turkish cities (if you want a good summary, take a look here). I’ve been in Istanbul since Friday for the European Academy of Marketing Conference, which is due to start next week. On Friday, two days after the protests started – and a day before the world’s news media started to report on the event. Friday night, we walked in the area of Taksim. You could hardly walk or breathe because of the CS gas the police used. You saw people with injuries on nearly every corner. On Saturday afternoon, the situation got worse – police tried, even more violently, to break up the protest. Then suddenly they withdrew. The atmosphere changed within minutes: the city came out and celebrated the (hopefully not only temporary) freedom. As the battles raged on in other parts of Turkey – and you can see those pictures in the news-  here are some impressions of what it is like in the “occupied square” on Saturday and Sunday. You can make up your own mind if these are “terrorists” as the Turkish PM called these people, singing, dancing and chanting. Or if violence simply breeds violence … and freedom simply breeds freedoms.
[Please remember: These are pictures from the main square of Istanbul. The police brutality against protesters continues in other parts of the city and other cities in Turkey! See http://occupygezipics.tumblr.com/ for pictures]

Click on the pictures for a larger version.
Entrance to Taksim Square on Saturday - after the police had gone.

Entrance to Taksim Square on Saturday – after the police had gone.

In Taksim Square

In Taksim Square

Republic Monument

Republic Monument

Even dogs have gas masks... ;-)

Even dogs have gas masks… 😉

Abandoned construction vehicles

Abandoned construction vehicles

Inside the park

Inside the park

More from inside the park

More from inside the park

Singing and dancing

Singing and dancing

...and chatting between the trees

…and chatting between the trees

A make shift clinic

A make shift clinic

More people chatting

More people chatting

Some protesters on top of the Atatürk Cultural Centre - supposed to be demolished

Some protesters on top of the Atatürk Cultural Centre – supposed to be demolished

More singing...

More singing…

Republic Monument

Republic Monument

Night falls over the abandoned construction site

Night falls over the abandoned construction site

During the night - bonfires to keep warm.

During the night – bonfires to keep warm.

Republic Monument at night

Republic Monument at night

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