After protests at Gezi Park in Istanbul, the radical movements that took to the streets realized that something could change. Against gentrification, for the rights of the Kurdish population, against the process of Arabization carried out by Erdogan and his party, Istanbul in 2014, burns.
The government, locks down the city on the occasion of May Day and subsequently during the first anniversary of Gezi park deploying 20,000 police.
The center of Istanbul, usually a tourist destination, is transformed into a militarized zone. Successive military actions against the protesters with stinging rubber bullets, hundreds of tear gas and water cannons. Even the press is suppressed during demonstrations with pepper spray and tear gas fired at head height. Outside the center other realities, unless told by media, living this situation daily. In Okmeydany and Gazi, two neighborhoods with a high percentage of the Kurdish population and threatened by gentrification projects, clashes follow each other almost every night and increasingly violent.
The repression left dozens of victims on the road throughout 2014 killed by the police. After the death of Belkin Elvan, that became an icon of popular riot, HKCP party, the Kurdish militants and anarchists have joined forces against a common enemy: Prime Minister Erdogan (who later will became president) and the police.
On the one side men and women, mostly young, armed with slingshots and Molotov cocktails and in other side riot police, Thoma with stinging liquid and plainclothes police hidden among the protesters. After clash follow every mornings raids in neighborhoods with preventive arrests. The increasingly tense situation is likely to lead, in 2015, an increase of social conflict and if Erdogan does not want to deal with the protesters the spiral of violence will be inevitable.