A young Roma girl sells water bottles and watches as men dance an early morning horon, a traditional Anatolian circle dance in Taksim Square.

As an American, an element that made the mass protests in Taksim Square so interesting was the level of enjoyment people got between the breaks of struggling with police tear gas and water cannon attacks. The young men here traditional circle dances that are used in celebrations thoughout Anatolia, the Caucauses, Bulgaria and the Middle East. These dances are familiar with young and old even in modernized cities like Istanbul or Ankara.

At night, while people filled Gezi Park with their tents and sleeping bags, men take out Turkish instruments and begin to play songs. Three singing turns to a dozen singing turns to 6 dozen or more singing. Turkish youth can defiantly sing their folk songs at a moment’s prompting.


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