© 2016 by Lucy Jonas. 

Gezi Park

Photo series (2013)

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What began as a peaceful protest against the renovation of a park into an Ottoman-style shopping mall, spiralled into nationwide outrage about overt police brutality and censorship.

 

In late May of 2013, Gezi Park in Central Istanbul became the locus of controversy, when a handful of civilians, protesting the destruction of the park, were subjected to tear gas and targeted violence by Turkish police. Gradually, as news of the heavy-handed response spread over social media, more and more protestors gathered in defiance of such systematic violence, until eventually protestors were able to occupy the park, with ramshackle fortifications as an outer defence.

 

Marches and solidarity movements spread to other cities like Ankara and Izmir, which were met with aggressive counter measures by police forces, using tear gas, water cannons and plastic bullets. Prime Minister Erdogan's description of the protestors as 'çapulcu's  (roughly translating to "marauders"), was then appropriated by the protestors as a collective slang term of identification.

 

Gezi Park documents the occupation of the park and the surrounding Taksim Square in Istanbul, focusing on portraits of the protestors throughout their stay.