Musicians protest with performances in Istanbul

18 June 2013, 13:00

Musicians offer a moment of calm in the Istanbul park at the centre of nationwide anti-government demonstrations.

Non-violent anti-government demonstrators in Turkey are picking up their instruments in protest in Istanbul. After violence broke out two weeks ago, musicians, artists, and anti-government activists have set up a temporary festival community in Gezi Park, performing a selection of protest music.

The protests started after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan proposed to redevelop Gezi Park in Istanbul - a move opposed by the activists. This has prompted anti-government demonstrations, in which three people have died and more than 5,000 people have been injured.

Impromptu cello performances are just one of the musical protests taking place at Taksim Square. German pianist Davide Martello and Turkish musician Yiğit Özatalay performed in support of the demonstrations at an impromptu concert last week.

After his duet partner Martello transported the piano from Germany to perform in the square, Özatalay said: "Our freedoms are being restricted. I don’t accept this as an artist."

Protesters rejected the government's latest plan to curb the unrest over the weekend, after Erdoğan promised to halt the redevelopment of the park.