Young Gezi people smiling beyond the illustration

Young Gezi people smiling beyond the illustration

Hundreds of illustrations have been drawn about the children and young people who lost their lives during the Gezi Park protests. I love one of them most. It reminds me of an “innocent children garden,” explaining extraordinary things to me.

I love this illustration so much because all of them are smiling. They have an attitude challenging death. It is the courage of youth. They smile. Out of spite, they smile.

I love this illustration so much because there is no death in it. On the contrary, there is a call to life. It invites us to the lifestyle that we know, the one that we have lived up until today.

I love this picture. Because what those young people are wearing is not an outfit they are forced to wear, and their expressions are not forced ones. It is an illustration that screams, “Hey, this is exactly what we are.”

I love this picture because there is no signature from the painter on it. The picture is the extraordinary collective work of everything free and human inside us.

There is no signature, but there is a person who drew it: A 33-year-old artist, a graduate of the Fine Arts Academy. His name is Faruk Tarınç. He is the honorary artist of the unnamed, spontaneous crowd. He is the artist of Gezi.

I love this picture very much because they are laughing. This means that we will also be laughing. Because there is no other way.

We know this. The powerful will also learn it. One day he will also acknowledge it.

We are also among the real owners of this country. The ones who will not be chased away, who will not be suppressed.

Today, take a long and close look at the faces of these youths. They are laughing. There is no death in this picture. On the contrary, there is life…  

In this picture, there is proud, free, joyful and young life; life that we can all sacrifice very much for the sake of.

A wonderful life that one day we absolutely will live…

Hang this picture on the wall of your heart. And look at it every day.

In the garden of the paper that evening

It was exactly one year ago…

I had worked exhaustingly at my office. It was around 7 p.m. when I went down to the bar in the garden of the Hürriyet office. The garden, which is usually full of people, was completely empty. I asked, “Where is everyone?” They told me, “They’ve all gone to Gezi Park.”

Then I learned that the young people of Hürriyet, just by themselves, were listening to the voice coming from their hearts and were going there…

Simultaneously, the young people from all over Istanbul were pouring into Gezi.
I went up and wrote the entry that also came from heart for the Hürriyet website. It was titled, “I could not wait until tomorrow.”

Some feelings cannot wait, not only until tomorrow; they cannot wait even half an hour.

Mine was like that.

The piece started like this:

“Gezi was just the name of a park until yesterday…”

A whole year has passed.

Now, in the eyes of the whole world, Gezi is “the Hyde Park of the young and modern uprising of dignity against authoritarian regimes…”