During the Taksim Square protests in Turkey earlier this year, Divan Hotels’ flagship property in Istanbul opened their doors to the protestors. Not a bad place to get support after suffering police brutality and tear gassing.
The hotel is adjacent to Gezi Park’s Taksim Square, the site of protests last May and June. During some of the most tense moments, the Divan Hotel’s management took in people protesting against the government of Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to the chagrin of officials.
Adding insult to injury, the hotel staff rebuffed police forces by asking whether they had a reservation at the hotel, according to Han Le, an American who observed the protests. Unsurprisingly, the police did not, and the staff—at least temporarily—prevented them from entering and arresting protesters camping out inside. The Financial Times reports (paywall) that the decision to take in protesters was initially made by the hotel’s management, but supported by the hotel’s parent company.