A revolutionary summer in Istanbul — in pictures

(roarmag.org) This collection of photos by activist Jenna Pope recounts the events surrounding the destruction and occupation of Gezi Park in early June this year. 

When major protests against the destruction of Gezi Park engulfed Istanbul this past summer, American photographer and activist Jenna Pope was quick to decide that she needed to be part of this. Within days she arrived in Turkey, camera in-hand to photograph and report on the biggest popular uprising in the history of the country.

The Gezi Park protests began with two dozen activists occupying the iconic park in the center of Istanbul to protect it against destruction. They tried to stop the government’s plans to turn this last natural refuge in the concrete jungle into another unnecessary and unwanted shopping mall. After a violent police crackdown on the peaceful protesters, the marginal environmental resistance quickly turned into a countrywide uprising against Prime Minister Erdoğan’s authoritarian rule. Street battles were fought between the extremely violent police forces — which used water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets to subdue the ‘Çapulers’ — and the defiant resistance movement.

For a period of two weeks — without a doubt the two most significant weeks of the entire Gezi protests that saw the rise and fall of the Taksim commune — Jenna was on the streets of Istanbul documenting the police violence and the determination of the protesters, supporting the movement, and spreading the word about what was going on in Turkey to a global audience. Jenna’s pictures have played an important role in creating awareness about the situation in Turkey at the time, not only showing the dark side of the protests in the form of the disproportional police crackdown, but also, and more importantly, the solidarity amongst and the defiance of the protesters…

More about this at > http://roarmag.org/2013/11/gezi-park-photography-jenna-pope/

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