Istanbul governor denies Taksim Square for May 1 celebrations

Istanbul governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu has said the authorities offered labor unions to hold May 1 celebrations in Yenikapı Square instead of famed Taksim Square.

Mutlu told reporters on Monday that officials, along with labor unions, will hold a small ceremony in Taksim Square on May 1, but rejected that the celebrations could be in the square, origin and flashpoint of last year’s summer protests.

The celebrations in Taksim Square had been banned more than 30 years since 1979 after a unknown gunmen killed more than 30 protesters during the May 1 rally. Erdogan lifted the ban in 2012, but banned it again in 2013 on grounds that there were renovation works in the square. Police clashed with protesters in many streets of Istanbul last year as they were denied to enter into the Taksim Square.

Mutlu said they didn’t receive an official request to hold the May 1 celebrations in Taksim, but he offered to hold the rally in Yenikapı Square as part of the authorities’ new regulations.