06/06/2013 08:25 BST | Updated 06/06/2013 08:41 BST

Turkey Uprising: Dogs Are Tear Gassed By Police As #OccupyGezi Protesters Help Stricken Animals (PICTURES)

WARNING: Some readers may find these images distressing

Heartbreaking images of dogs being tear-gassed have emerged amidst the scenes of violence playing out during the Turkey uprising.

One scene sees a police officer spraying a dog in the face point blank, while another shows an officer kicking one of the animals in the stomach.

Several images circulating on Twitter show concerned protesters kneeling with the stricken animals, washing their faces in an attempt to cleanse them of the spray.

A dog is helped by protesters in this image which was posted to Imgur

The protests started over proposals to redevelop Gezi Park in Istanbul, which the activists oppose. Police moved in to confront the demonstrators on Friday, sparking violent clashes and a widening of anti-government sentiment.

The Atlantic asks: “Why are these animals getting facefuls of toxic fumes?

SEE ALSO: 'Woman In Red' Becomes Iconic Image For Turkey Activists

"Some of them may be stray dogs, which explains why they might be in the middle of a violent protest in the middle of major cities. But these are still just dogs.

“They have no clue about the disproportionate and violent police response that happened a week ago, nor do they have any political yearning about the green space of Taksim Square.”

Photo gallery Turkey Protests See Gallery