Vine Captures Playful Side of Turkish Unrest
Vine of yoga class at Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul.
CREDIT: Vine: @ufuk bekdas
Depending on which social media outlet you view, the events taking place in Turkey vary from shocking displays of police brutality to peaceful images of young people dancing and singing.
Vine, a relatively new tool for sharing breaking news, has been filled with posts showing mostly peaceful demonstrations that look almost playful — as much a function of Vine's six-second video format as the activities filmed by users.
Searching for the hashtag "occupygezi" reveals a fast-growing trove of protest-related Vines. Aside from the hand-painted political signs in the background, the scenes look more like a festival than an uprising. Kids smile and wave at the camera in succession. A yoga class performs a one-legged pose at Taksim Gezi Park, the site where police first used force against a sit-in protesting the government's plans to turn the park into a shopping mall. There's even a little stop-motion animation featuring the top hashtags associated with the protests, such as direngezi and occupygezi, signing off with "Bu basari Halkin!" — Success of the people! (As translated by Google.)
Tens of thousands of Turkish citizens continue to stage anti-government protests, which began late last week. The protests center on the policies of Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose government recently passed legislation curbing the sale of alcohol and denounced public displays of affection. To protesters, Erdogan is a dictator who disregards the wishes of his people, especially the young ones. Many have called for his resignation.
In a television appearance on Sunday, Erdogan denounced social media, calling it "the worst menace to society."
Looking at Vine, it's tough to understand his view of social media. But head over to Twitter , and it's a different picture altogether.
In contrast to Vine, the images posted to Twitter (Vine's parent company) have been far more provocative, centering on Turkish police officers' violent methods to disband protesters, including the use of tear gas and water cannons.