The Power of Paint

One of the things I keep marveling at is the constant cleverness of Turkish protest. My Western friends are all convinced that the protests are dead, but they aren’t. They bubble up in lively and entertaining ways. Less gassy and dramatic, but far more lovely.


A few weeks ago, a shopkeeper in Cihangir painted the steps on his street rainbow colors. You can read more about it here.

painted stairs

painted stairs 1

He apparently was unaware that he had just made a huge gay pride flag, and had swiftly and unwittingly became a hero of the GLBT crowd. A few days later, (seriously, read the article- the English is a bit unwieldy but it does a nice job of explaining how, exactly, everything fits into what) A few days later, guess what the AKP municipality did while everyone was asleep? PAINTED THE STAIRS GREY AGAIN.

I’m sorry, but the AKP is seriously a dick.

So this started the paint protests: all across Istanbul people have been painting their streets in rainbow colors.

It reached my street two days ago. When I left for work three men were painting the bollards all different colors. Yesterday, they came for the street, and were painting cobblestones. When Z and I got home from an art opening at around 9 last night, we settled down at Igzas and watched people finish making Piri Çavuş street a colorful statement against war (see the red splattered Syrian flag cobblestones) and authoritarianism.

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I am very proud of my Turkish neighbors.

This entry was posted in Gezi Park, Istanbul, Kadikoy, Turkey, Turkish Politics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Power of Paint

  1. Alan says:

    . . painting the ‘them’ into a corner of their own idiocy – you really cannot keep a good Turk down! They just need to get out there and vote in 2014 – assuming the vote isn’t rigged (hush my mouth). Terrific post – brightened my day as well as many others.

  2. Came across two lots of stairs in Istanbul recently – a couple of hundred meters apart. I passed them at least 6 times and as I was in a taxi, I failed to get any photos – boo! 😦

  3. We’ve even got colourful stairs in Fethiye. Woo hoo. And some appeared in Kalkan as well this morning. This one is countrywide and is making the world a brighter place. No one else can do protest like this country can. 🙂

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