Police use Water Cannons, Tear Gas in Istanbul’s May Day

Bmiw2jcCQAAfPCCIstanbul is set for a difficult May Day, with the Istanbul Governor’s Office warning that Taksim Square will not be opened for Labor Day demonstrations even as unions insist on their right to gather at the iconic square.

The governor’s office cited intelligence reports indicating that “illegal terrorist groups” would resort to violence against security forces as a reason for blocking Taksim Square, as well as many roads located around the central square.

Police use water cannons, tear gas in Istanbul’s tense May Day
Unions, including the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK) and the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK), have marched to Taksim to defy the ban and break the police barricades. They say the government’s measures are incompatible with previous rulings from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ensuring freedom of assembly.


Kadıköy/Istanbul Photos: Hülya Karahan

Besides Istanbul, May Day demonstrations are planned by activists in more than 30 provinces of Turkey, including the capital Ankara.

According to Istanbul governor’s office 90 wounded, 142 detained in today’s ” May Day” protests.