A Turkish riot policeman sprays tear gas during a protest in Istanbul’s Taksim Square. Demonstrations that began peacefully over plans to redevelop the area broadened into huge protests against the government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.
Osman Orsal: “When I was on the way to cover a peaceful protest, I had no idea that my picture would become one of the iconic images of a month-long uprising in Turkey.
As I arrived the story was no different from hundreds of demonstrations I have covered as a photojournalist over many years.
A group of environmental activists were occupying Taksim's Gezi Park in order to thwart a reconstruction plan, as part of which dozens of trees were being uprooted.
Riot police equipped with pepper spray launchers and smoke grenades asked them to leave. They resisted.
I photographed as a policeman sprayed a burst of pepper gas at a protester; a woman standing in front of him in a red dress, carrying a handbag and nothing else.
As the peaceful park protests evolved into full-scale countrywide violent clashes in which seven people lost their lives, my picture, the 'woman in red' became one of the iconic images of the conflict.
From tabloids to magazines, banners to wall graffiti, t-shirt prints to even a body tattoo, the 'woman in red' became a well-known figure all around the globe.”
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, lens 16-35mm, f9, 1/320, ISO 320