A woman in a red dress, photographed as she is teargassed at a demonstration in Istanbul, has become a symbol of the Turkish protests of the past few days.
The woman, whose identity was not immediately known, was photographed as a Turkish policeman fired tear gas at her from very close range, taking further steps toward her while still spraying as she tried to get away.
The pictures have circulated widely via social media sites, and been adapted for posters by demonstrators and their supporters.
Thousands of protesters in Turkey have been expressing discontent with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s 10-year rule, in demonstrations that escalated after police used tear gas to break up a peaceful sit-in of opponents to the redevelopment of a park area close to Istanbul’s man Taksim Square early last Friday. The zone is to be turned into a shopping mall and mosque.
Erdogan on Monday called the protesters extremists “living arm in arm with terrorism” — a description hard to reconcile with the woman under tear gas assault.
The demonstrations have spiraled into Turkey’s biggest anti-government disturbances in years, with over 4,000 people reported injured and two dead as of Thursday morning.