A research assistant from Istanbul has become the symbol of the protests in Turkey, as a photo of her getting pepper sprayed has gone viral on the internet.
If you are following the news, then you will know that there are massive protests going on in Turkey right now. Such protests mean that the people are unhappy and that they are demanding a change from their government or some other party. This time it is about the government, which is led by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the 25th Prime Minister of Turkey.
Turkish protests go out of hand, as social media is the worst menace to society
It appears that the government is looking to replace a popular Istanbul park with some military barracks and a shopping mall among other facilities. Since Turkish people are really fond of the Gezi Park, they have decided to protest against the decision and save the site.
What started as a peaceful protest has went on to become a near-warfare situation, as the police has been applying violent “sanctions” to the protesters. Moreover, journalists and photographers are being beaten and arrested for trying to report the news.
Turkey’s Prime Minister has gone as far as saying that “Twitter is the worst menace to society” and he is claiming that everything being reported on social media channels is fake.
Lady in red: one of the many people pepper sprayed by the police
Well, Adobe’s Photoshop is a pretty capable editing software, but this does not mean that a photo of a lady in red getting pepper sprayed by the police is not real.
Ceyda Sungur has joined the protests on May 28 just like thousands of other people. While she was standing in front of the police, one of them has decided that the lady in red should be given a “special treatment”, so he has directed a pepper spray jet at her face.
Photographer who took the lady in red photo did not go unpunished
Reuters photographer, Osman Orsal, has been close to the area and he has captured a series of images, including one which shows the officer abusing his power, as Ceyda did not provoke the police.
The photos have been uploaded on the internet and they have gone viral. That particular image, which shows the exact moment when Ceyda Sungur was getting hit, has been shared countless times, so she has become a symbol of the Turkish protests.
Turkey’s government has attracted a lot of criticism from western leaders, especially after the Reuters photographer has been beaten by the police just a day after the image has been captured.
A photo of Osman Orsal with his head covered in blood would be too violent to be displayed here, but it shows the current state of the affairs in Turkey and how the police is treating journalists.
Lady in read will always be remembered as the symbol of the 2013 Turkish protests
It is unknown when the protests will be over, but Ceyda will always remain a symbol, despite the fact that she has declared that many other people have received the same treatment and that she does not want to be a symbol at all.
Sungur is a research assistant at the Istanbul Technical University. As stated above, she will be forever known as the “lady in red” and she joins many other iconic people, who have had the courage to stand up against the police.