Protests on Istiklal Street

Protests on Istiklal Street

Protestors occupy buildings on Istiklal Street, Istanbul’s famous car-less promenade that leads to Taksim Square. At the time this photo was taken, many of the businesses had shut down as the street was claustrophobically crowded with chanting and singing protesters, day and night.

This particular building is not too far from the Greek embassy and a school I taught at early on in my time in Turkey. Sadly, the corrupt school was not broken into and occupied by crowds of frustrated young men. “There are more of us than there are them” is something that you would hear and it became jarringly obvious. No matter how many police the Turkish government pulled out there always seemed to be at least ten times more protestors pouring in, with fists raised or arms linked. Regardless of how things will continue in Turkey, it was obvious I was witnessing something extraordinary. The atmosphere and general public mood changes when temporarily the masses have the upper hand on a corrupt police force protecting a government that is mainly interested in keeping people in place.


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