Since the beginning of the protests in Turkey more than a month and a half ago, police violence has been extremely prevalent in cities across the country. The last clash in Istanbul, where the protests first began, was last Saturday, when police officers attacked with tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets as people tried to march down Istiklal Street and enter Taksim Square. As people were fleeing down side streets, some shop workers became angry and started attacking both protesters and journalists by kicking them and beating them with wooden sticks.
In response to this, supportive shop keepers have been organizing events on their streets with the slogan “Gaz değil müzik istiyoruz”, which means “We want music, not gas”. Many people gather to drink, listen to live music, and have a good time. These types of events are a good way for activists to stay connected to each other, and to release some of the stress caused by the violence they have endured over the last few weeks.