People’s Republic of Taksim

The Gezi Park was packed, and it looked like a carnival. There were street vendors selling all sorts of food, guitar players with cigarettes in their mouths with the ash almost falling onto their laps, people dancing the halay, voracious readers reading in dim light, a tattoo maker with a sign that said, “Ataturk’s signature tattooed with henna”, more people dancing the halay, people singing songs by Zulfu Livaneli (a popular leftwing singer from the 90’s), people sleeping to get prepared for the long night, occupiers on cleaning duty going around with huge trash bags, a lot of people taking photos and even more people dancing the halay.

Since the #occupygezi demonstrations began on May 31st, I’ve been spending some of my evenings around Taksim Square strolling among the demonstrators in the police-free People’s Republic of Taksim in the centre of Istanbul.

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