Since the beginning of clashes between protesters and police around Taksim square, the Turkish authorities have been using tear gas as one of the primary methods to disperse demonstrators.
Videos uploaded on YouTube and graphic images surfaced on Twitter show the police shooting canisters at the angry protesters. Tear gas can spread in the air across city blocks, sometimes effecting people who not participating in demonstrations. The gas can infilitrate into nearby apartments, shops, and restaurants.
The Turkish government has blamed the protests on its political rivals who lost elections along with "foreign elements".
Some activists have gas masks to handle the tear gas, but most protesters employ alternative methods, such as kerchiefs, nylon, and makeshift masks to protect themselves.