I drew the above sketch on Saturday, June 15— the day the police invaded Gezi Parkı. I had no idea this would be the last time I could sketch Gezi as it was; a peaceful, fun, creative place where people of all backgrounds came together to speak out against what they believe is wrong for their country. I've never seen anything like it. That night, I watched in horror as the police stormed the park, kicking in tents and gassing everything that moved— even going so far as to gas a hospital and hotel lobby, where injured people and lost children were taking refuge. I will never understand the violence, the lack of compassion and the blatant lying— this was, and still is, a peaceful protest.
Last week, a man named Erdem Gunduz stopped in the middle of Taksim Square and silently stood, facing the Atatürk Kültür Merkezi. He stood for eight hours. Soon, hundreds of protesters joined in and just... stood. On the first night, several were arrested by the police who are now a permanent fixture— occupying the park and every possible entrance to the Square. This new form of civil disobedience spread like wild fire throughout the country, stopping people in their tracks for five minutes at the very least, to hours on end. Since then, we've had red carnations for the dead, and sit-ins, the protest changing form but never its message.