On July 25 2015 Turkey‘s military carried out a new wave of air and artillery strikes and started a two-pronged “anti-terror” cross-border offensive against Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists in Syria and Kurdish PKK militants – themselves bitterly opposed to the jihadists – in northern Iraq. Ankara says that this escalating campaign is aimed at rooting out terror.
After peace marches were prohibited, violent protests filled the streets of Istanbul. Tensions across the country are high, with police routinely using water cannons and teargas grenades to disperse recurrent protests in Istanbul and other cities denouncing ISIS and the government’s policies on Syria.
On August 23 2015 a peace march in Gazi Mahallesi escalated again. After police tried to clean up the situation following their routine with water canons and teargas grenades, counter gunfights started to happen supported by the urban milita of the Kurds called YDGH. Overall mostly left and Kurdish people were involved.
On this day 2 photojournalists were attacked and hit by teargrenades in the face, 5 other protestors got highly injured.
The neighbourhoods of Gazi Mahallesi where the Kurdish minority and Alevi people are mostly found, has become infamous in Turkey before after the 1995 riots, where 23 people were killed and over 1400 injured, and more recently during the Gezi riots of June 2013.