The weekend we were in Istanbul, protesters clashed with Turkish police right around the corner from our hotel. According to several new reports, the protests were due to newly enacted laws restricting Internet usage. I don’t know the history of the current government or the new laws.  I can’t possibly understand what it’s like to live in a country that I only experienced for a few days, but as an American, I believe deeply in the principles of the Constitution.  And I am naturally very sympathetic to anyone who fights for them.

On the last night in Istanbul, I walked down Istiklal Avenue with a colleague, and things seemed to be picking up for more protests that evening.  I saw photojournalists with gas masks, picket signs, and growing crowds of both civilians and police. I was tentative about taking photos based upon some of the reports I’d read from the night below, and we were wise to head back to our hotel before things go very heated, but here are a few shots of what I did capture.

Riot 1 copy
Istanbul Riots Photo #1.  A photojournalist carries two cameras and a gas mask as crowds start to gather and assess the situation.

Riot 2 copyIstanbul Riots Photo #2.  Many people were carrying signs like the one tucked into this man’s backpack.  I was hoping to get a clear shot of one so I could use Google Translate to decipher what it said.  No such luck…

Riot Police
Istanbul Riots Photo #3.  This image was taken with my cell phone right outside our hotel the night before the two images above.  Saturday night’s riots seemed to be much larger and widespread than the activity that took place on Sunday, when the two photos above were snapped.

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Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Interesting series. I also tend to sympathise for those who fight for their rights. Seems a bit scary though, to experience those riots so close to your hotel.

    • Despite how close it was to us, I never really felt scared. In an odd way, I felt comforted to know they were fighting for democracy. When I was teenager living in Europe in the 1980s we encountered a few anti-American protests and those were much scarier to me, because I didn’t want a mob hating me for what they thought of my country. I would hope that each person gets a chance to stand on their own as a human being instead. If that makes any sense…


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About Sage Scott

Shutterbug Sage began as a 365 photo project.


City, One Thing, Three Ways, People, Photography, Travel


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