Posted by Orcun Chapuller, 99GetSmart

A letter from a friend:

Since these protests started, in addition to a political movement, I see and even deeply feel in them an amazing social revolution.

Due to its key geographical location, for centuries Turkey has been home to all types of religions and ethnic groups; in fact for centuries our true richness has been generated from these differences.

Any king, sultan or politician who has known how to embrace the differences of this country and put them in the front row has been successful and left a mark in history.

This time, since 2002 to be exact, our differences have been reflected but in a manipulated way and under the cover of democracy we have been selected and divided: the covered versus the uncovered, the Muslims versus the non-Muslims, the 50% and the others have been categorized and with time, while walking in the streets, the covered ladies have started staring at me with strange eyes and I don’t really know why but I do the same.

Since May 31st, 2013, Turkish people have succeeded in gathering all our differences in an amazing harmony in one single point: the Gezi Park. I am lucky enough to witness this with my own eyes and heart again and again in an incredible way … Tolerance, love, respect, embracing all the religions, avoiding looking askance at people having different sexual preferences, smiling, peace … all of these have been suddenly caught in one interesting “momentum” all together. In such a fast way that we have not really fully understood what is deeply happening but we are just truly feeling it and getting together for days. We simply started acting with our true Turkish hearts!

It is exactly for this reason that back from work, I leave aside my Chanel bag and high heels for my backpack to go straight to Taksim Square.

And if I forget my gas mask I don’t mind at all and go with full confidence because I know that one of my sisters/brothers/friends I don’t know yet will help me out.

Yes, we are there to support this movement and to protect our rights, but I also walk and wander freely around Taksim by inhaling, with the utmost pleasure, the gas bombs to catch this very special momentum. And from now on, when I take a taxi the drivers are smiling and ask me how I am or when I walk in Istanbul I am happy to see in every corner “chapullers” and we warmly smile to each other.

Fear and anger have been swapped for tolerance and respect, making us what we are deeply and what has made us for centuries: TURKS.

My deep thanks to all friends who did or did not come to Taksim, ones following us from far, the people giving their support in any manner, the ones praying, the ones inhaling or not inhaling these bloody gas bombs, the ones injured for each and all of us, to my TURKEY standing up for and getting its rights!

Written by Figen Ayan

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This is what was happening in Gezi Park before the rioting police brutally raided the park:

Because I Love This Park

The Biggest Civil Uprising in the History of Turkey

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