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The young people protesting in Istanbul's Taksim square are getting creative as they demonstrate against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's conservative government. Photos of the protesters -- and their graffiti and memes on social media -- show that even in the face of tear gas and Twitter arrests, they can be funny. They also show the kids have not forgotten about the opposite sex. Here are pictures of the Istanbul demonstrations over the last few days that show Turkish young people are just like us.

Kids tweeted by Dream TV's Birsen Birdir.

Newlyweds on on Istanbul's famous İstiklal Avenue near Taksim square on June 2.

(Photo via Reuters.)

Protesters find love on a damaged public bus on June 5. 

If you look closely, it looks like tourists are taking photos on the other side.

(Photo via Reuters.)

It goes without saying that no one wants to be tear gassed. But you can tell some people like having their photo taken while wearing a gas mask.

This photo of a woman using her phone through a gas mask has been all over Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook. Tracking down the original source has been difficult.

This graffiti was on a wall on İstiklal Avenue, according to Rami Sabbagh.

Anonymous masks are popular.


So is the Turkish flag.

A whirling dervish with a gas mask in Taksim square on June 5.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

This tumblr says these bruises are from the police. It's been reposted a lot, too.

This is deputy prime minister Bülent Arinç, who met with protesters on Wednesday. I'm taking a risk and posting something when I'm not sure what it says, because it looks so interesting. Google Translate gives a shaky translation of: "The main areas of interest insults, white-haired man with extreme rage and great adventures in porn." Update: Readers Blige and Aygen email with a better translation: "Great adventures of a white-haired man whose main interests are insults, extreme rage and porn." And reader Emre explains that in Turkish, "Arinç" is pronounced very similarly to the "orange."

But Erdogan is the figure most prefer to ridicule.

A kid sits on a broken pole near a barricade on June 4.

(Photo via Reuters.)


I think this says "People's Resistance Against Terrorism." Update: Reader Yasemin emails to say it means "People's resistance against police terror."

Protesters coined the Anglicized term "capulling" after Erdogan referred to the protesters as "çapulcu," which means "looter" or "marauder." 

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons.)

From a 19-year-old in Istanbul:

These cookies say "Tatlı Çapulcu" -- sweet looters.

It can be tough to figure out what's really from Istanbul. This photo, of a woman using a bra as a gas mask, has gone around Tumblr tagged as if the woman were in Istanbul

But it's actually half of the "Emergency Bra," which has been online since at least 2010.

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