How The "Lady In Red" Became Turkey's Most Inspiring Meme

A photo of a young woman being pepper-sprayed becomes a symbol of the protests in Taksim Gezi Park.

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The incident immediately drew comparisons to this 2011 protest in the U.S.

Brian Nguyen / Reuters

A University of California Davis police officer pepper-sprays students during their sit-in on November 18, 2011.

The photo quickly spread on social media, with the "lady in red" becoming a symbol of the burgeoning anti-government movement.

"No moment captures that spontaneous defiance and the police's heavy-handed response better than the lady in red," Michael Kelley of Business Insider wrote. Max Fisher of The Washington Post called the photo an "iconic and affecting symbol."

Reuters itself called her a "leitmotif for Istanbul's female protesters." A student involved in the protests told the news wire that the photo "encapsulates the essence of this protest."

... And inspiring even more art.

@AbbyMartin I created this based on from pics of the lady in red http://t.co/rHCMi8QPUS

Super Corp Heroes

@SuperCorpHeroes

@AbbyMartin I created this based on from pics of the lady in red http://t.co/rHCMi8QPUS

Kırmızı giysili kadın... #occupygezi #direngeziparki

Murat124nüSatanBilge

@solsoledo

Kırmızı giysili kadın... #occupygezi #direngeziparki

#direngeziparkı Kırmızı elbiseli kadın.Gazı milletçe soluyoruz,lütfen bukez neyin arkasına sığındığınıza dikkat edin!

ozan akbaba

@ozanakbaba

#direngeziparkı Kırmızı elbiseli kadın.Gazı milletçe soluyoruz,lütfen bukez neyin arkasına sığındığınıza dikkat edin!

UPDATE: The woman has been identified by The Times of London and Turkish media as Ceyda Sungur, an academic.

"Every citizen defending their human rights, every worker defending their human rights, and every student defending university rights has witnessed the police violence I experienced," she said.

Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Jessica Testa at jessica.testa@buzzfeed.com.

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