The protests [in Turkey], which started as an effort to save Istanbul’s Gezi Park from redevelopment, have grown into an ongoing anti-government demonstration directed at Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s leadership. They quickly spread to other cities as well, like Izmir and Ankara, Turkey’s capital.
For the past two weeks, social photography has shown how popular tourist spots in Istanbul, like Istiklal Street and Taksim Square, have been transformed into urban battlegrounds.
Earlier this month, Erdogan criticized the role social media played in publicizing the protests,calling social media the “worst menace to society.” Erdogan blamed Twitter for distorting the events taking place around Taksim Square, where violent clashes between police and protesters erupted.
This week, police again used tear gas against demonstrators, attempting to disperse them. And on Wednesday, Erdogan gave demonstrators a 24-hour warning, telling them to end protests. (Our colleagues over at The Two-Way blog are monitoring the latest events.)
It’s hard to gauge from the outside what might be distorted on Instagram. But it offers a new perspective on the protests — and the lives of the photographers.
Photo Credit: Serkan Bac and Engin Iriz