Photograph by Daniel Etter/Redux

Taksim: Turkey's Protest Epicenter

  1. 1

    It started as a sit-in, then erupted into full-blown protests across Turkey. Here are photos of the battlegrounds and flash points of the largest demonstrations the country has seen in a generation.

    Pictured, a demonstrator waving a Turkish flag reacts to a dose of tear gas during the June 1 protests in Istanbul. Thousands protested plans to replace part of a well-known park with a shopping mall. More than that, they protested the heavy-handed politics of the regime of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

    Photograph by Daniel Etter/Redux
  2. 2

    Police barriers knocked down by protesters in Taksim Square, the epicenter of the protests.

    Photograph by Lorenzo Meloni/Contrasto/Redux
  3. 3

    Inset, the Taksim military barracks. Built in 1806 in the grand Ottoman style, the barracks were turned into a soccer stadium, then demolished in 1920. The planned shopping mall that is supposed to replace part of Taksim's park will be a replica of the barracks—if it ever gets built.

    Courtesy Istanbul Metropolian Municipality
  4. 4

    At right, an undated photo of the Taksim barracks. The large parade ground made it easy to turn the barracks into a soccer stadium. At left is a digital rendering of the mall-as-barracks-replica that will border Taksim Gezi Park. The mall is partly responsible for the protests, since its planned construction inspired the peaceful sit-in of park lovers that the police broke up.

    Courtesy Istanbul Metropolian Municipality
  5. 5

    The Republic Monument, also in Taksim Square, in a 1944 photo. It portrays the founders of the republic, especially Turkey's first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. He was a hard-core secularist who took a dim view of religion in general.

    Photograph by Maynard Owen Williams/National Geographic
  6. 6

    The Republic Monument on June 1, 2013, enveloped by protesters. Thousands of demonstrators flooded the square as police lifted barricades around the park.

    Photograph by Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images
  7. 7

    Overview of Taksim Gezi Park, the green space, one of few in the city, that is to be turned into the Ottoman-style mall.

    Photograph by Jengis Kojak/Alamy
  8. 8

    Demonstrators in Taksim Gezi Park show their strength on June 2, 2013. Note the profusion of Turkish flags: The demonstrators feel they're fighting to preserve the more secular traditions of their country.

    Photograph by Lorenzo Meloni/Contrasto/Redux