Police clash with May Day crowds in Turkey
Wednesday 01 May 2013
Police and protesters have clashed in Istanbul after hundreds tried to breach barricades and reach the city's main square to mark May Day in defiance of a government ban.
Some demonstrators hurled stones, petrol bombs and fireworks at riot police, who responded with tear gas as clashes broke out on side streets leading to Taksim Square.
The square is the city's main hub and is currently undergoing a major facelift. The Turkish government banned celebrations at Taksim this year, citing construction safety risks.
Trade union groups, however, have vowed to mark May Day in Taksim, which is of symbolic importance to workers and left-wing groups. Dozens of protesters were killed there in 1977 when unidentified gunmen opened fire on May Day celebrators.
Subway, bus and ferry services across the Bosporus were partially suspended and bridges were closed down to prevent large groups from gathering in Taksim. Some 22,000 officers were deployed to police the city.
Throngs of demonstrators, waving flags and shouting anti-government slogans, still tried to access the square.
The Istanbul governor's office said 20 protesters were arrested and at least two police injured during the clashes. The private Dogan news agency said at least two journalists were also hurt.
The clashes in Istanbul came after three years of relatively peaceful May Day festivities.
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...
£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...
£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...