Police force lawyers of May Day detainees out of gstanbul Courthouse

Police on Monday forced a group of lawyers who were representing people detained during Friday’s May Day demonstrations out of the Istanbul Courthouse, preventing the lawyers from issuing a statement on the premises.

The lawyers for dozens of demonstrators who had been detained by police while marking Turkey’s Labor and Solidarity Day accompanied their clients as they were taken to the courthouse on Monday, following a prosecutor’s request that the demonstrators be arrested. After the lawyers chanted slogans and stated that they were going to deliver a statement, the police forced the lawyers out of the courthouse.

The tension continued outside the building as officers used their shields to push the lawyers away from the courtyard. Several lawyers fell to the ground during the scuffle.

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Communist Party members arrested for entering public square on May Day

Three members of the Turkish Communist Party (TKP) were arrested by court order on Monday for having entered Taksim Square on Friday to celebrate Labor and Solidarity Day.

Turkish authorities had banned access to the area on May 1, despite the day being acknowledged as an official holiday. A total of 29 people were detained on Friday during May Day demonstrations in Istanbul, after which they were referred to court, with a prosecutor demanding that they be arrested.

On Monday the court ordered three of them, TKP members Deniz Sinan Tunaboylu, Bahtiyar iahin and Ali Adiguzel to be put under arrest, while the remainder of the detainees were released pending trial, the Radikal daily reported.

The indictment against the 29 suspects accuses them of violating the Turkish Code on Gatherings and Demonstrations. Friday’s May Day was marked with tension over a government-imposed ban on demonstrations in Taksim Square in central Istanbul and the detentions of hundreds of demonstrators in the city, while May 1 celebrations passed relatively peacefully in other provinces across Turkey.

Authorities took drastic security measures in central Istanbul neighborhoods, with thousands of police barricades and officers on the streets that lead to Taksim Square to prevent the entry of demonstrators. A large number of police officers from other provinces were flown into Istanbul as reinforcement. Police intervened when a group of protesters managed to reach Taksim Square despite a police blockade and made dozens of arrests.

Over 400 people people were detained across Turkey, 203 in Istanbul alone, on May 1, while news agencies ran a large amount of footage showing extreme police force being used against the May Day demonstrators.