Painting symbolizing Gezi to go on display
ISTANBULPainter Haydar Özay, the son of the 21-year gardener of Istanbul’s Gezi Park, has spent his life there. He has recently finished a huge, 50-square meter painting of the park, which will be on view from May 30, the second anniversary of the Gezi protests.
Speaking to daily Hürriyet, Özay said he worked on the painting for a year. The painting features icons from the protests, including children who died during the Gezi Park events, their mothers, Beşiktaş football fan group Çarşı, penguins, the Gezi protest icon “the woman in red,” one of the members of the Taksim Solidarity Platform Mücella Yapıcı, a yellow canary, and a bulldozer (“POMA”) chasing riot control vehicles (TOMA).
The costs of the painting were met by volunteers, and it will be on public display on the terrace of the Istanbul Chamber of Architects (TMMOB) in Taksim. The painting will later tour abroad in the fall.
A graduate of Mimar Sinan University Painting Department, Özay says his father started working as a gardener in the Gezi Park in 1979.
“He asked me to make this painting. I drew designs and took notes and photographs during the Gezi Park protests. I was very close to them. I painted Yapıcı as a witch who dedicated herself to Istanbul. She has the Haydarpaşa building on her lap. Berkin Elvan is there with his marbles, dog and kite,” Özay said.
Mehmet Ayvalıtaş, Ethem Sarızülük, Medeni Yıldırım, Uğur Kurt, Ahmet Atakan, Ali İsmail and Abdullah Cömert, who all died during the Gezi protests, are also in the painting.
“The families of those in the painting are coming to see it. So far, the families of Berkin Elvan and Hasan Ferit Gedik have come,” Özay added.