University of Basel

SIBA – A Visual Approach to Explore Everyday Life in Turkish and Yugoslav Cities, 1920s and 1930s

Sabre-swinging mounted police surrounded by protesters, Taksim Square 1933

Sabre-swinging mounted police surrounded by protesters, Taksim Square 1933, © Yapı Kredi bankenlarge



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Object:Sabre-swinging mounted police surrounded by protesters, Taksim Square 1933
Description:A group of mounted police officers is surrounded by a crowd of protesting young men on Taksim Square. One of the officers has raised his sabre and is moving towards a protester. In the background, the picture is framed by a wall and trees. More spectators and protesters are standing in a line in front of the wall.
Comment:Some of the protesters are backing down, shrugging their shoulders. The policemen are trying to control the situation despite their obviously nervous horses. The picture was taken during the so-called ‘Wagon-Lits incident’ (vagon-li olayı) on 25 February 1933. This first large-scale student protest of the 1930s was sparked when newspapers reported that an employee called Naci Bey had been fined and dismissed from work for speaking Turkish (and not French) on the telephone during business hours.
Location:Istanbul, Taksim
Country:Turkey (contemporary)
Turkey (historical)
Type:Photographic negative
Creator:Görgüç, Namık or Giz, Selahattin
Keywords:570 Interpersonal Relations > 579 Brawls, Riots and Banditry
620 Community > 625 Police
660 Political Behavior > 668 Political Movements
700 Armed Forces
200 Communication > 208 Public Opinion
180 Total Culture > 186 Cultural Identity and Pride
Bibliography:Vagon Li şirketinde Çirkin bir hadise. Cumhuriyet, 24 February 1933, 2.
Copyright:Yapı Kredi bank
Archive:Yapı Kredi tarih arşivi, Istanbul (Collection Selahattin Giz), Inv. No.: 3/0182F
Editors:Joël László, Nataša Mišković