I lived and taught English in Turkey for 2.5 years. I fell in love with that beautiful country and even married a Turkish man. When the Gezi Park freedom protests began a year ago today, I covered them first-hand, writing articles, taking photos, and uploading videos. I even got attacked by the Turkish police, and my Turkish husband was tortured by them. We left Turkey days before police showed up at our old apartment near Istanbul to arrest me for a photo I’d published.
Of all the photos I took in Turkey, this one defined a turning point. I was in Antalya, watching some high school students march with the Turkish flag even though their Islamist Prime Minister had forbidden any parades. I stopped being just an American English teacher and became part of the Turkish people when I witnessed how much they want freedom.
Read my tribute to the Gezi Park protest anniversary here: