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Sunglasses-Wearin’, Motorcycle-Ridin’ Dog Becomes Hero of Gezi Park Protests

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Protesting in Istanbul's Gezi's Park began May 28, and has become increasingly tense. But there has been one bright spot among the standoff between the police and the protesters: One hero, on the protesters' team, is of the four-legged variety.

Protesters have started calling him "Sunglasses Motorcycle Dog" or "SMD." Why? Because he wears sunglasses as he balances his front paws on the shoulders of his human companion as they cruise around on a motorcycle. The pair has been seen riding around the streets of Istanbul among the protesters. Social media users have captured photos of the two — SMD, of course, is wearing very fashionable shades in almost every picture.

So what caused the protesting? The government has plans to build a shopping mall on the land that is currently Gezi Park. Protesters want the park to stay the way it is, because it is one of the few remaining green spaces in Istanbul.

SMD also reportedly dresses up in a Turkish soccer jersey and barks at people who are wearing gear of rival teams. On Twitter, users have started calling him "The Riot Dog of Istanbul." One person tweeted, "Istanbul's coolest protester."

As protesting continues and the standoff between the government and the public wages on, let's hope that they can remain peaceful and reach a compromise.

[Related: Live From 'Occupied' Gezi Park: In Instanbul, a New Turkish Movement Is Born]

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