I walked over to the Anitkabir (Ataturk Mausoleum) today to spend some time learning about Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence, and the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. Most of the other visitors were Turkish citizens, and I was struck by how much quiet reverence people had for the leader, the museum, and towards each other. A few minutes before entering the museum, I saw a student protest at a large intersection, and of course, snapped a quick photo.

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Here are some photos (and a cool video about the soldiers’ rotation) from my day here.

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After my visit to Anitkabir, I walked around the city, and found myself in Kizilay (I promise it was on accident), and got there literally 5 minutes after the riot police sprayed tear gas on the protestors who I stood next to last night.  I walked down the streets to find a taxi, and tears automatically streamed down my burning eyes because of the thick tear gas in the air. I saw young girls and boys crying from having had tear gas sprayed directly into their face. My cab driver had tears streaming down his face because of the spray as well. Not too sure if he was able to see clearly, I hopped in, and made my way back to my guest house.

There were about 40-50 riot police (most of the them turned the left corner)

There were about 40-50 riot police (most of the them turned the left corner)

Bystanders and some protestors, minutes after the police sprayed tear gas

Bystanders and some protestors, minutes after the police sprayed tear gas

Note the riot police vehicles

Note the riot police vehicles

The police were running towards their riot police vehicles after arresting several protestors

The police were running towards their riot police vehicles after arresting several protestors

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Riot police vehicles on public streets

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If you look carefully past the cabs, you can see riot police holding onto arrested protesters

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