A full-page advertisement supporting Turkey's anti-government protestors has been published in Friday's edition of the New York Times, following a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Organized by Murat Aktihanoglu, Oltac Unsal, and Duygu Atacan, the campaign went live on June 3rd and reached its funding goal of $53,800 in under 24 hours. At the time of this writing, the page has amassed more than $100,000 from approximately 2,500 donors. According to Forbes, that makes it the fastest political fundraising campaign in Indiegogo's history.
The advertisement appears in today's front section of the Times, under a title that reads, "What's Happening in Turkey?" Its final text and tear gas graphics were drafted and approved by donors and supporters, following an online vote. The campaign's organizers have also taken to Reddit in search of suggestion on how to spend their surplus funds.
"Watching the events unfold in Turkey really made us think we have to do something," Aktihanoglu told CNN this week. "We are regular citizens. We are not activists. We are not politicians. So we thought the best thing we could do is try to increase global visibility and attention on the situation in Turkey."
"We stand united because of our concern for Turkey’s future."
The tone of the ad underscores Aktihanoglu's sentiment, calling attention to the steady erosion of civil rights and freedoms under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's 10-year tenure, and demanding an end to ongoing police brutality.
Protests have raged across Turkey for the past week, injuring thousands and killing at least three. The unrest was sparked by a peaceful protest against plans to demolish Gezi Park, but has since grown into a broader demonstration against Erdogan and his policies, which critics see as increasingly conservative and authoritarian.
"Time and again, the Prime Minister has mocked and trivialized his nation’s concerns while Turkey’s own media have remained shamefully silent," today's ad reads. "The people protesting bravely throughout Turkey are ordinary citizens ... We stand united because of our concern for Turkey’s future. Our future."