Live updates from tense Labor Day in Turkey

ISTANBUL (CIHAN)- Istanbul woke up to a tense day on the occasion of May 1, Labor Day. The government banned celebrations and demonstration at iconic Taksim Square, which was opened to May Day celebrations in 1976 and the following year a grave provocation led the workers and the police to clash. While the president of DISK was giving a speech, several shots were fired from above the buildings around the square. In the consequent clashes and panic, 37 people were killed. The workers saw Taksim Square for one more time the next year. In 1979 there was already martial law in Istanbul and the Martial Law Command did not allow celebrations to take place in Taksim.


12:06: Clash between security forces and protesters who were disguised with masks continues in Mecidiyeköy district. While police fire water cannon and tear gas, protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails.

11:45: In Ankara, security forces took strict security measures across the city. The Ankara Governorship announced that demonstrators can celebrate May 1 at TandoIan and SIhhiye Square.

11:16: Members of the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions (DISK) began to march towards to banned Taksim Square. Riot police intervened in the group to prevent them to enter the square

11:37: In, Mahmut IevketpaIa neighborhood, protesters attacked riot police with large amounts of Molotov cocktails and stones through catapults, leaving one armored police vehicle unusable. Police detained some protesters.

10:55: Tension escalated in BaIiktaI district, where police resorted to tear gas and water cannon to disperse large crowd, who threw explosive materials and stones to the police officers and also damaged workplaces.

10:44: Police and protesters clashed at Istanbul’s BeIiktaI and IiIli districts, events during which Mahmut Tanal — a deputy from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) — was slightly injured.

09:45: A group of protesters, believed to be members of an illegal group, clashed with the riot police in Istanbul’s OkmeydanI neighborhood. The group attacked police with Molotov cocktails and fireworks in their hands, leaving many workplaces damaged. The security forces responded the protesters with tear gas and an armored police vehicle was burnt during the clash.


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