Many Turkish ex-pats in New York City woke up Monday to news of further protests and unrest in their home country.
Omer Gormus, 25, spent the weekend following news on Turkish Internet TV, and calling a friend back home, pleading with her to avoid going to Taksim Square.
"I told her, 'You want to go and pretend you don't want this government. Fine. But the moment it gets really dangerous leave and go home,'" he said. "'Nothing is more important than your life.'"
She ignored his pleas.
Other Turkish residents are more supportive of the protests.
"It's about democracy, nothing else, not about the park," said Cigat Bayder, 35, who runs a grocery store on Neptune Ave. "And they're right."
Another resident Erdine Yakut, 33, runs a gas station nearby. "Whatever people are doing, they got a right to do you that," he said.