Evru KaraChristian Pfohl
Christian Pfohl, Jo Béranger
At the heart of Istanbul's Gezi Park, on Taksim Square, some dozen tree defenders will launch in May 2013, a protest movement that will conquer Turkey as a whole and oppose the authoritarian power. Against this eruption of freedom - this Turkish May 68- Prime Minister Erdogan oppressed and still does oppress it fiercely by sending in numerous police convoys and teargas, lying in whichever way he could to finish with this protest and get rid of the movement. Thousands of people were injured -6 people died and 7,800 were injured by July 20th. The fight of the çapulku, meaning "vagrants" which is how Erdogan calls them, is born from a long- lasting fight against replacing entire boroughs in Istanbul with American-style buildings and shopping centers. This was Gezi Park's fate as conceived by Erdogan. Against this destruction of Istanbul, the people of Taksim stand up and yell: "The park belongs to us, Istanbul belongs to us." According to them, it is rather a matter of asserting their right to remain citizens breathing in the park, instead of becoming consumers locked in a shopping center; of standing up against corruption and barbarian capitalism; of defending the rights of women to control their own bodies, freedom of thought against constant propaganda from the government. What happened at Gezi Park? Who are these protesters? What angered them enough to get the courage to shout out loud and resist? What is the real face of this power perceived by the world as role model?