Market Day

For the People of Turkey

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Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck

Our hearts ache for the people in Turkey. For the last couple of days we have been glued to news and other reports, waiting for resolve to the events that directly affect our friends who live in a place we commonly refer to as our second home.

We cringe over the ferocious police response to peaceful protests, with hundreds being injured by the use of chemicals and excessive force. And then the escalation as support swells across the country, standing up against a government which is curbing basic human rights and has slowly been turning a proudly secular republic into more of an Islamic state.

It is so hard for us to imagine this beloved country in such pain, just days after we left it. And before you only glance at the news and chalk it up to just another thing that happens “over there”, don’t forget this:

These are people. These are good people. These are people who are standing up for the rights that you and I take for granted.

And that missing from your news are the stories of the demonstrators cleaning up afterwards. The Turkish people themselves aren’t even being informed of anything in their local news, and the government threatens to shut down the internet, their right to basic communication, in order to stop organization and reports like this from getting out.

Pete and I had planned to do this photo post for sometime, as a statement to reflect the true beauty of this country. Turkey’s most endearing quality lies in the benevolence of its people – the most hospitable and generous people we have ever met in all our travels.

We never imagined having to share these photos within this context, to have to support a protest from afar with our words and images, but here it is.

Turkey, we stand firmly at your side. Your cause is just, you deserve to live freely in the strong democratic society you fought for so many years ago, and we are proud that you are now standing up to have your voice heard. We wish we were there…


Istanbul - Galata Bridge Fishing


Burhaniye Children's Day

Market Day

Turkey Workers Day Celebration

Burhaniye Children's Day Festival


Izmir, Turkey

Chasing Pigeons in Izmir

There are some simple ways to show your support for Turkey:

Use your voice, spread the word via social media. Here are some sample tweets:

.@Valimutlu Police use of force against #direngeziparkı protestors is excessive, unacceptable & breaks international HR standards @aforgutu

.@Valimutlu @RT_Erdogan Istanbul authorities must immediately stop police violence against peaceful #direngeziparkı protestors @aforgutu

Amnesty International’s issuing international call to its activists to take action over police violence in #Taksim #direngeziparkı @aforgutu

Stay informed. Follow such organizations as Amnesty International for reports on the ground (here is their Facebook page), as well as the page for Occupy Gezi and Diren Gezi Parkı.

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  1. Having just moved from Istanbul after living there for nearly 3 years, I couldn’t have said it any better. I agree with you wholeheartedly and support my friends back in Turkey. Beautiful photos! Well done!

  2. Thank you for sharing your love for these beautiful people and their wonderful country. Hoping for positive news coming soon from Turkey…

  3. Having witnessed and lived the Egyptian revolution and seen what they did to my beloved Egyptian friends, I totally understand your pain.
    I stand with Turkey too!

  4. Thanks a lot for this post. There’s a lot of pain but there’s also a lot of ‘standing up’ right now, too. We’re heartbroken but also fully with everyone at the same time. Everything is online from here at the moment due to media not reporting anything on TV. Hope you don’t mind this link to another Facebook page – they’re doing their best to report in Turkish and English and, to give people an idea of how big this is (because it doesn’t look like this is being shown in the UK – not sure about elsewhere) they have a photo album to show the demonstrations in each city. Hope everyone will share, even if it’s just for awareness.
    Julia and Barry

  5. This says it all. A tribute from people who have first hand experience of the generous, open nature of those who live here.
    This fight is a battle to retain this rather than hide behind veils and hypocracy.
    Long may Turkey remain free to welcome strangers and accept different cultures as they do now without losing their own, unique identity.

  6. I fell in love with Turkey many years and visits ago,

    Turkey is its people not its government.

    People stay, governments change.

    I shall continue to love Turkey.

  7. I feel very fortunate to have some Turkish friends living in Istanbul and sharing their experiences on Facebook so that I’m not only getting mainstream media stories. Thanks for sharing your experience as well.

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