After Gezi

Visual Sunday

It must look as if nothing happened. After the brutal clearing of Gezi park by police on June 15, a small army of municipal employees planted flowers, grass and even a few new trees. The park reopened to the public on July 8 but was closed again to demonstrators on the same day for a couple of hours, as if their resistance did not save one of the last green spaces of Istanbul from being bulldozed.

In the meantime, all the walls of Taksim district were painted a uniform grey. In response to all the slogans, posters, and stencils, in response to the explosion of political expression, there was one answer: grey. It’s not a very enticing color, but the times are not getting brighter in Turkey. The revolt, which spread to around 50 public parks located throughout the city, slowed down with the arrival of summer. However, the repression did not slow down – almost every day people are arrested for their participation in the Gezi movement.

But things have not gone back to “normal”. A number of people still camp out in Gezi park, where demonstrators have created a small memorial in honour of deceased protestors. Ironic slogans are etched onto the drab grey paint. Forums and demonstrations are still held daily. One of the most popular slogans continues to be, “Bu daha başlangıç, mücadeleye devam” (“This is just the beginning, continue the struggle”). The while scale of the Gezi uprising came as a surprise, and it is hard to predict what will happen next.

TOMA is an armored water canon, produced in Turkey. It was heavily used against Gezi movement protesters. This is a fake TOMA made for the music festival Gazdan Adam (July 7 – Kadiköy).

Some protesters came back to camp in the park and set up a make-shift kitchen. On the poster is written: “We don’t want a liar state, liar politics. We will resist until the end.”
“We are the people/We are not pigs/Don’t throw gas”, Meselik street, Taksim.
Gezi park just after its reopening on Monday, July 8. In the background, the Intercontinental Hotel.
July 8. Slightly before 7PM, demonstrators start gathering in Taksim Square following a call by “Taksim Solidarity”. The park was closed to prevent them from gathering inside. A couple of minutes later, the police attacked the crowd using water canons, tear gas and rubber bullets.
“Love, love, freedom/state stay away from us.” Taksim.
In Gezi park, improvised memorial for Ethem Sarisülük, 26, who was shot in the head by a police officer in Ankara on June 1st.
Republic Monument in Taksim, slogans were covered by grey paint.

 

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