But the protesters are expressing steadfast solidarity and refusing to buckle in the face of extreme force and Erdogan’s insults. As they band together and grow in number, they’ve adopted something of a catchphrase, which brings us to the term “çapuling,” alternatively spelled in many social media postings as the anglicized “capuling” or “chappuling.”
The Turkish word “çapul” has many meanings, including pillage; rage; plunder and booty to spoil; foray; root; and maraud, according to the Tureng online translation service. It’s unclear exactly where the term originated, but it might be a reference to Erdogan’s description of protesters as “looters.” The accompanying “Everyday I’m Çapuling!” video is likely designed to disarm the word by showing protesters engaged in non-looting activities that aim to counter his use of the loaded term….
However it got started, the term is taking off in a major way. Twitter users have spread the phrase via hashtags, including #çapuling, #capuling, #chappuling, #everydayimcapuling, #everydayimçapuling and more, and the video has gotten so many views in such a short time that it has triggered YouTube’s hit-count-stopping feature.
Turkish citizens crowd-funded an advertisement which ran in The NY Times:
The protests continue tonight in Turkey against the abusive rule of Islamist Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, someone whose dangerous bluster is well-known to Legal Insurrection readers.
— Zeynep Erdim (@zeynep_erdim) June 8, 2013
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