Gezi park story - Istanbul

Bimen Zartar

Historian of Armenian origins.

One of the first  people to build the


"The staircase leading to the park

had been built with the dismantled

tombstones of an old Armenian


I went there to protect my

grandfather's stone, then I realized

that something important was


Isil Ertuzun


Member of the association for the

safeguard of Gezi Park.

She was with Birkan the night of May 27

"We were going out to dinner, but

seeing the bulldozers we stopped.

Amazed by what was happening,

we asked them to show us the

authorization, but there was none."

Nahide Ilgin


Member of the association for the

safeguard of Gezi Park.

She was with Birkan the night of May 27

"I just started calling everyone I knew

on the phone, but it was late and

I thought nobody would come.

I was wrong."

Kadir Alar

Journalist and writer

One of the first journalists entering the

occupied park with the delegation

of parliamentarians.

“For the first 10 days, the public

television transmitted documentaries

about penguins.

For this reason, the protesters came up

with a penguin wearing a gas mask as

the symbol of the Turkish protests.”

Gezi Park

Protests in Taksim square

Protests in Gezi park

Birkan Isin


President of the association for the

safeguard of Gezi Park.

He was the first one to see and shoot

what was happening.

He posted the first 13 pictures

at 11.30 p.m. on May 27, while the

bulldozers were demolishing the wall

to get to the trees.

"I was there, I had to do something.

I would have never forgiven myself


After 30 minutes it was 50 of us,

next morning it was an entire



Mustafa Cevdet Arslan


Member of the association for the

safeguard of Gezi Park.

The man who climbed the wall to stop

the bulldozers at 11:45 p.m. on May 27.

"These are our trees and none of us

gave them permission to uproot them."

Erdem Gunduz

Free-lance choreographer and dancer. 

Erdem's image, standing still for hours

in front of Ataturk's statue,

has been seen all over the world.

It embodies the soul of Turkey's

non-violent protest.

"Can you imagine?

I am a choreographer, a dancer."

Bulent Muftuoglu

Photographer by passion and trader of

organic products.

He followed from the first night

everything that happened,

documenting an extremely detailed

social reportage.

Claudio Monge

Dominican Father, Doctor of Theology,

has been living in Turkey for more than

ten years.

"In Gezi Park I’ve been talking to young

people of every kind of religion during

the protests, trying to understand if it

could be also a religious point for the

protesters. It was not.

I remember a young man talking to his

Muslim neighbor he met in the park,

apologizing he never talked to her


Mevhibe Gozcelioglu


One of the first women who arrived.

During the occupation she was the one

who organized and helped the


Mennan Euren


One of the first person to pitch his

tend in Gezi park.

"That was great!"

Haluk Aykan 


Member of the association for the

safeguard of Gezi Park.

One of the first person who arrived in

Gezi Park in the night on May 27.

"There is no strategy!

I don't have the slightest idea where

this movement is going to take us,

but I can tell you that even if we don't

know whether we will be able to change

this country, we are already changing


Protests in Gezi park

Boyun egme

- don’t bend your neck -

A so important slogan of the Turkish


Police in Taksim square.

Istiklal st.

Protests on the first day of Ramadan

Istiklal st.

Young Turkish boy during the protests.

Istiklal st.

Young Turkish man during the protests.

Istiklal st.

Turkish young man arrested during the protests.

Istiklal st.

Tear gas during the protests.