Thousands of police officers ready at Taksim Square

ISTANBUL: Thousands of police officers are ready at Istanbul’s Taksim Square after Istanbul Governor’s Office prohibited use of the iconic square for Labor Day celebrations.

In the eraly hours of Friday, officers took their positions and closed all the roads to the Taksim Square. A number of armored vehicles and TOMA vehicles are also positioned in different points around the square.

The square holds particular importance for May Day observations due to the Taksim Square massacre of 1977 that resulted in 37 fatalities. As thousands occupied the square at the height of an era of political violence between left-wing and right-wing ideological groups, shots were heard at the scene. Four people died from the gunfire but most of the deaths were due to the chaos that ensued as security forces intervened.