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Turkish riot policeman uses tear gas during a protest in central Istanbul

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armenian graveyard

If you have been following the news in Turkey right now you might know that there is civil unrest in the streets, all originating from the government’s attempt to turn one of the last green spaces in downtown Istanbul into a shopping mall (and yes, that is Tilda Swinton in the top photo).

What the media hasn’t pointed out is that the said disputed park actually has a long and controversial history. Armenian protestors at Gezi park have been carrying signs that read in Turkish, Armenian and English: You captured our graveyard, but you can’t capture our park!

This is a reference to the Pangaltı Armenian graveyard that was destroyed in the 1930s to make way for the current park and surrounding hotels. Because everywhere you scratch in Turkey blood boils to the surface.