as tensions rise, some of what happens in istanbul looks more like civil war than protests, like the fortification of the taksim area with massive improvised barriers and roadblocks to keep police away. there is, however, still no form of leadership or central coordination for the huge number of protesters.
yesterday's clashes started by the waterfront in beşiktaş, where police soon chased protesters in to the narrow side streets. the gas is even more brutal in such conditions, and affecting way more than just the people on the street. most of the damage to local property (windows etc.) was done by police grenades. a lot of residents helped people on the streets and offered them shelter in their homes.
there are a lot of stray animals in istanbul, and while cats easily find cover, the dogs are completely confused and without protection from police gas in the narrow streets.
police often make no exception for ambulances, and i have seen them actively target one that was trying to block off a water cannon truck chasing protesters.
some cafés, bistros, restaurants and hotels are opening their doors all night to help people. hyatt and intercontinental (and probably other hotels too) let people stay and sleep in their lobbies. starbucks gave out free food and drinks two nights ago (don't know about last night).
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