Sara Panis, a Wageningen International Development Studies MSc student, experienced the revolts in Turkey at first hand. She visited her sister, who is studying in Ankara.
Sara and her travelling companion had no idea what was going on when they arrived in Istanbul. 'We thought it wouldn't be that bad and set off for Taksim square, the heart of the protests. Suddenly, a huge mass of people were fleeing, running towards us. We weren't sure what we had to run from but we turned around immediately.'
She only realized things were really bad the next day, in Ankara. Even so, she was unable to avoid ending up in the middle of an uprising on her way to the hostel. 'Numerous roads were blocked by rows of police standing shoulder to shoulder, with helmets and riot shields. We saw a water cannon pass and people wearing gas masks. The tear gas got into our eyes and lungs, hurting our eyes and throats.' At night, she saw from her hostel how policemen beat up an older man. 'Without any provocation.' Read Sara's story on www.resource.wur.nl.