You are bound to walk through a loud, crowded, chanting group of demonstrators if you ever find yourself on Istiklal Avenue in the Beyoglu District of Istanbul. I haven’t seen many protests in Chicago. In fact, I think I have only seen one. So my first Turkish protest was an exciting and somewhat overwhelming experience. I didn’t know how to react, until I realized that these protests are peaceful. The police are always nearby, ready to intervene. But from all the protests I’ve seen on Istiklal Avenue, I haven’t seen any police-civilian confrontation.
Here is the story behind the very first march I witnessed on Istiklal.
This short montage features various demonstrations on Istiklal. The first clip is a march against the massacre in Houla that’s been making recent headlines. The second is a political demonstration. The third short clip is raising awareness about the government wanting to downgrade May 19th, the Turkish Day of Independence, to an informal holiday. And the last was a private demonstration for an 18-year old who was about to begin his term in the Turkish military.