This is the first time I have ever seen Turkey free. Truly free.


Today in the early morning I went to Taksim Square with Young Kurd, one of the voices of this Istanbul blog. Young Kurd and I had heard the police had pulled back from Gezi Park and Taksim Square. We wanted to see for ourselves.



On the walk through Istanbul neighborhoods the clash of pots and pans rang. This is the sound of revolt against the government in Turkish culture. Turkish citizens young and old were on the streets. A wrong had been done. The Erdogan AK Parti government had stifled civil rights for too long. Had championed privatization for too long. Had pushed the religious agenda for too long.


A cop car sped through the neighborhood, rushing right past us! The cop car blared its horn at everyone and then was forced to stop behind a slow moving taxi.


Livid at the slowness of the taxi driver the cop driving the police car pulled up along the side of the taxi and made the cabbie pull over.


The cabbie did. But he was not afraid. The cabbie argued with the police officer. Up until 2 days ago openly arguing with the police was impossible in most parts of Turkey.


The cop got out of his car, bully club in hand, ready to beat the cabbie into submission.


But we were all there. The whole neighborhood came out to the police officer. Old anuties. Young people. Young Kurd himself went up and in an act of great courage calmed the inflamed police officer.


The angered officer shouted that, “All of what is happening… is not my fault!! I didn’t do this! We police are just like you! We are servants of the public good! We ARE JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS! ORDERS COME TO US AND WE FOLLOW THEM!!”


Okay okay Young Kurd said to the crazed officer. Just go. Go on. Leave this cabbie in peace. Leave this neighborhood in peace.


And the police officer, tail between his order-following legs did just that.


He left us in peace.

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Sean David Hobbs is a writer and multimedia journalist who lives in Istanbul. He works to chronicle the stories of the voiceless in Istanbul and can be reached at His memoir about Istanbul called "Sex and Homeland" is his second book.

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