In only a few days, the word ‘chapulling’ has taken international vocabulary by storm. Stemming from Turkish çapulcu, roughly meaning ‘looters’, it was used by prime minister Erdogan on June 2 to describe the people who had occupied Gezi Park. Instead of taking offense, it was immediately reappropriated by the protesters, who now proudly identify as ‘chapullers’. Almost overnight, the meaning of the word has changed from looters to rebels.
The Gezi Park television channel is called Çapul TV (capul.tv). One of the places distributing free coffee, tea and snacks all day and all night is the Çapulcu Cafe. I met a Dutch-Turkish compatriot there from Rotterdam. He has occupied Gezi since the beginning. He is unable to contain his enthusiasm and he makes no effort to do so.
He shows me the supplies. All day, vans full of goods park at the…
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