After days of being the target of tear gas and police water cannons, protesters in Gezi Park, in Taksim Square here, were tense on Wednesday night, girded for conflict. Instead they got a piano performance. Davide Martello, a German musician in the new age, Paul Winter mold, arrived with a three-man team, hauling a grand piano in a trailer. After unloading the instrument and placing it inside the entry to the park, he began to play.
People stopped to listen. The restless crowd began to calm and organize around Mr. Martello. Soon photos and videos of the performance were zinging around the globe, ending up on blogs, online news sites and Facebook pages.
How is it that a single individual can, for 14 hours straight, transform a revolution with 12 notes?
“Police in the background and this grand piano in the middle,” said Zeynep Turkmen, a 24-year old protester who has been staying in the park for more than a week. “This guy is writing history here.”
Police officers, there to protect the nearby monument bearing the statue of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the secular Turkish Republic, joined the audience, resting on their riot shields.
Small acts, large dreams. That’s the formula for transformation.