Every Day They Are Çapuling

12 Jun

I am pretty sure LMFAO wasn’t in a revolutionary frame of mind when recording Party Rock, but it has become the protest anthem of Turkey.   The Turkish word “çapul” has many meanings, including pillage; rage; plunder and booty to spoil; foray; root; and maraud.  Erdogan called the protesters looters and the moniker stuck and has been co-opted by the protestors, who everyday are çapuling.  See the YouTube video here.

In the last 24 hours, we received a lot of questions and well wishes and my guess is that the US news has increased its coverage on the protests happening now Turkey. I wrote last week that the protests were upbeat and for the most part non-violent.  Here are some pictures we took from the car on June 1st.  As you can see, these are normal, non violent people protesting: Moms, Grandmas, Teachers, Lawyers, Students.  This night they were jubilant and singing the national anthem.

Image 32Image 33

Since then, while the protests have remained primarily positive things, have gotten increasingly violent, and news about police brutality from the beginning is prevalent. Reliable media coverage here is hard to come by (CNN Turk was playing a documentary on penguins while CNN USA played live feed of mayhem in Taksim Square).  The one network that was streaming the protests live has now been fined for harming the development of youth.  Facebook is being monitored.   Cell phone coverage was being cut.  Yesterday lawyers were arrested in Istanbul, and today hundreds marched in protest of those arrests here in Ankara.  

Lawyer being arrested in Istanbul1012116_528988183803611_1126700870_nLawyers Protesting in Ankara

Of course, there are some bad seeds out there just sowing discontent and some good police are trying to keep people safe, but things get muddied in the fog of tear gas and water cannons.

1009512_457729857648627_2004833540_oTaxis blocking water cannonKizilay before gas and cannonsKizilay after gas and water

We are safe and staying away from the heart of the protests, but my friends are out there çapuling and I am both proud and nervous for them.


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