Well I was at Taksim square for 7 hours yesterday. I got 4 shots of pepper spray canisters falling close by. My eyes were burnt badly despite swimming glasses I had to buy after the first shot of tear gas. Operating masks helped a bit with the breathing, but not much.
Police often attacked protestors with pressurized water, tear gas, and batons. Due to continuous police harassment (such as this
one), peaceful protests began to take a turn for more violent action.
The protests were a culmination of events where the government increased the repression levels, confident in its tight control of the media and Islamist voter base. Throughout May, police repression and unpopular government policies followed one another. First the police attacked May Day protestors in a fashion similar to the recent brutality. Then a bombing took place in a town near the Syrian border. It is not clear who did it, but government claims that the Syrian regime perpetrated it. The majority of the people does not believe in that. Conspiracy theories are numerous, but there's a telling detail: People in the bombed town (Reyhanlı
) protested against the prime minister and his policies of meddling in Syrian affairs, as well as harboring Al-Qaida fighters and mercenaries who fight against the Syrian regime. The prime minister was able to visit the town only after two weeks, during which the police achieved full control over the town. Imagine George Bush visiting ground zero only on 25th of September, no sooner.
Well, I'm not inclined to make any guesses about the future, but it looks like some things are about to happen around here.