Protests started in Turkey on 28 May 2013. The protests were sparked by outrage at a brutal eviction of a sit in at Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park protesting the park's demolition. Subsequently, supporting protests and strikes took place across Turkey protesting a wide range of concerns, at the core of which were issues of freedom of the press, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the government's encroachment on Turkey's secularism.
Istanbul. Ankara. 16th-30th of june 2013
Captions by Riccardo Budini.
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...These are no one’s soldiers. In fact, for most of them, the word “soldier” invokes the eerie memories of the bloody and dark days of recent history. They are ordinary people reacting towards the possession of their living spaces little by little by giant capital, who yearn for a life to which neither state nor the religion interferes on behalf of any holy value, who yearn for a life that becomes an honorable human person, and for a life that is free, brotherly and equal. How do I know this?
I know this since they possess the ability to transform this monumental reaction into a festive scene of liberty.
I know this since they, excitedly, rush their wounded friends to cafes-turned-into-infirmaries. I know this since they become friends, free and easy, with comrades who were former strangers.
I know this since there are young women among them in plenty, and I know this since they are determined not to retreat a step back. I know this since there is this puckish smile on their faces while throwing a stone at a police or running away from a cloud of gas. I know this since even when causing havoc, they consciously select the targets of their rage: CCTVs, kiosks of municipality, and ATMs… But, for example, not bookstores, groceries, cafes, and restaurants.
No, they are not soldiers of anyone. This explosion is due the anger of those ordinary people who just want to live humanely: This anger is historical and strong.
Its spontaneity and sincerity is both its strength and weakness. With its insistence, its boldness, and its persistence, astonishing even to the protestors, this movement is strong. Yet, its unorganized body, aware to the forces it faces, but unable to formulate what it wants, is its weakness...