A Turkish woman who participated in anti-government protests in Turkey two weeks ago is now back in North Carolina talking about her experience.
Esra Uzun says she and other protestors were pelted with rubber bullets, pepper spray and water cannons while protesting what they believe are undemocratic, heavy-handed government actions to take over a park in Istanbul.
Turkey's government is trying to put an end to violent street protests. Leaders proposed a referendum on the development project that triggered the nearly two weeks worth of demonstrations.
Protestors though, converged on Istanbul's Taksim Square, doubt how real the offer is. The government wants to replace Gezi Park with replica Ottoman-Era military-style barracks.
"This is not about a park anymore. This is not about trees," Uzun said. "We just need recognition and, I don't know, maybe spread the word so we can get more support."
Uzun says she does plan to return to Turkey.
Dozens of Turkish-Americans gathered at a meeting space in Cary Wednesday night to talk about the protests and to watch news reports from Turkish media.