Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/6/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Ceyda Sungur is a better symbol for women.

An unwitting woman has become the symbol of resistance in Turkey and an icon for women across the Middle East. Dubbed the "Woman in Red," a photographer captured her standing, apparently calmly, as she is violently pepper sprayed.

Ceyda Sungur calmly withstanding attack by an officer with pepper spray.

Ceyda Sungur calmly withstanding attack by an officer with pepper spray.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/6/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Ceyda Sungur, Turkey, pepper spray, feminism, resistance, symbol, picture, red dress


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The world knows her as "The Woman in Red" but her real name is Ceyda Sungur. Walking amongst protesters in Istanbul's Taksim Square, the last green space in the city, she found herself near the police line.

Wearing a red dress and necklace, Sungur was suddenly and violently pepper sprayed by a police officer. The jet of spray was so intense it blew her hair upwards. Unable to do anything but turn away, she took the blast to her head and neck.

Several photos captured the moment of her spraying, but one in particular has gone viral, depicting her standing, calmly and peacefully just taking the force of the blast. She is unarmed and doing nothing to protect herself as the blast to her face blows her hair upwards.

The image is so compelling it has been adopted as an icon of the movement. Sungur objects to being used as such, and has told reporters the movement isn't about her. However, the image is so powerful that it is resonating with women around the world.

A student named Esra told Reuters, "That photo encapsulates the essence of this protest. The violence of the police against peaceful protesters, people just trying to protect themselves and what they value."

Egyptian blogger, "Zeinobia" tweeted ""The woman in red in Turkey, I wish to wear such dress in downtown Cairo without fear, without protests, without sexual harassment."

Although Sungur is uncomfortable with her surprising fame, her image of standing calmly while being attacked by police, is powerful on many levels. It serves naturally, as an icon of the protests. Turkish youth are protesting plans to develop the last green space in Istanbul.

Police have been sent to clear the park, but students have refused to leave and clashes have erupted between them and police. Students are also calling on Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to resign.

Erdogan has apologized for what he calls "excessive force" used by the police.

However, the image has more resonance across the Middle East where woman are treated as second class citizens. Sungur isn't provocatively dressed or posed, as some radical women have been across the Middle East in recent months. Bare-chested women have been appearing on social media in the Middle East with feminist messages written across their chests, protesting the dominant culture of Islamic misogyny.

However, Sungur isn't posing as a radical feminist. Instead, her modesty and calmness stands in profound contrast to that of radical women across the Middle East. As such, her image is likely more powerful. Modest and calm, the image is a far better icon of the struggle women face across the Middle East.

Islamic women in the Middle East daily contend with living in a male-dominated society, where they can be treated as property, are denied advanced education, and can face violence including assaults, rapes, and murder for minor infractions.

These problems are not uniform across the Islamic world, and Turkey is remarkably progressive. However, in more conservative Islamic states, her image is one of courage, moderation, and inspires hope.

Sungur told Turkey's TV 24, "There are a lot of people who were at the park and they were also tear-gassed," she said. "There is not (a) difference between them and I," buts he is wrong. There is a difference, her struggle was captured at the right instant.

She may reject becoming an icon of the movement, but movements are propelled by unscripted moments of profundity captured in images and lore. Those involved often have as much chance to dodge the bullet of fame as they are the pepper spray.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Middle East

YOU WILL NOT TAKE MY HEAD! - Notorious ISIS executioner 'Jihadi John' now on the run from his former bosses Watch

Image of There are rumors that Jihadi John had been moved by ISIS to Libya, where he supposedly attended a terror training camp with Sousse gunman Seifeddine Rezgui.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

He was at one time the most visible and dreaded figure in the Islamic State terror group . now, "Jihadi John" has fled for his life, afraid that his ISIS overlords were planning to kill him with as much leniency mercy as he did captive journalists. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


ISIS executes two homosexuals by pushing them off the roof (WARNING: Graphic Content) Watch

Image of The unidentified male victims were sadistically dangled over the side of the building before being pushed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In what appears to be their favored method of execution for those accused of homosexuality, ISIS agents tied the hands of two men behind their back and then pushed them off a rooftop to their deaths in Homs, Syria. The jihadis blindfold the men before standing ... continue reading


Catholic relief Services roll up their sleeves to help rebuild Gaza Watch

Image of Reconstruction efforts in Gaza are complicated by the Israeli blockade.

By Kevin J. Jones, CNA/EWTN News

One year after an outbreak of violence between the Israeli military and Hamas militants in Gaza, Catholic Relief Services is helping conflict victims to find new homes. Gaza City (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's hard to believe it's been a year already. Unfortunately, it ... continue reading


The Cubs of the Caliphate take over: ISIS cub executes Iraqi 'spy' in latest horrific propaganda video (WARNING: Graphic Content) Watch

Image of The young ISIS soldier who shot an Iraqi spy at point blank.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

ISIS has once again released another shocking video, this time featuring a young boy shooting an alleged Iraqi spy in the head, point blank. The child dressed in black from head-to-toe executes the man after he confesses he has been spying on ISIS in the Iraqi town of ... continue reading


Forced to chew a sandal! Captured ISIS killer ridiculed on TV by Iraqi media Watch

Image of Chewing a sandal is greatly insulting in Iraq.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An ISIS terrorist, accused of taking the lives of 60 unarmed Iraqi army soldiers, was forced to chew a sandal, an incredibly insulting act in the Arab world, as he appeared in front of news cameras in Iraq. In the Arab culture, simply showing the sole of your shoe is a ... continue reading


'Give me my weapon': ISIS releases disturbing video featuring 'the cubs of the Caliphate' directly speaking to the camera Watch

Image of Where are the suicide attackers?

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In what is believed to be the first time ever, ISIS has released a propaganda video featuring the "cubs," some as young as three, as the primary speakers. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The latest video, released from the terrorist group's official media wing in ... continue reading


Turkish student activist dies in ISIS suicide bombing minutes after posting a selfie Watch

Image of Recent ISIS Bombing kills Turkish students minutes after sharing a Selfie.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Turkish student activist, Ezgi Saadet has died in a ISIS suicide bombing, along with 30 others, last Monday in Suruc - a town located at the Southern area of Turkey. Saadet posted a selfie with fellow student activists several minutes prior to the attack; the picture ... continue reading


Terrorist group mimics 'Game of Thrones': Parades ISIS commander through town to be hanged Watch

Image of ISIS Commander Abu-Nabil Al-Anbari [not pictured] was captured and was forced to do the

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Abu-Nabil Al-Anbari, who was dispatched by ISIS to create an Islamic State in Libya was captured by a rival Islamist group and forced to participate in a "Game of Thrones-style" walk-of-shame through a Libyan city, along with other captives, before he was hanged to ... continue reading


ISIS forces young kidnapped boys to join them and endure extreme radical training Watch

Image of ISIS turns young boys into weapons.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It has been revealed that more than 120 young boys were given a doll and a sword to perform a beheading under ISIS' command, as part of the "Cubs of the Caliphate." MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - A 14-year-old who was abducted and later able to escape his ... continue reading


Ice offered to sweltering Iraqis turns deadly after ISIS detonates car bomb Watch

Image of More than 100 people were killed, dozens were injured, and a massive crater in the floor of the marketplace bears mute witness to the despicable scene of mass slaughter.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sweltering Iraqi citizens were lured with the promise of cheap ice in Iraq. It was all part of a diabolical trick by Islamic State, who detonated bombs, killing up to 115 people. One jihadi drove a vehicle packed with more than three tons of explosives into the market ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28
7 Moses used to take the Tent and pitch it outside ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13
6 Yahweh acts with uprightness, with justice to all ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:35-43
35 This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 28th, 2015 Image

St. Innocent I
July 28: Innocent was born at Albano, Italy. He became Pope, succeeding ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter