HomeNewsTurkish Police Clash With Protesters On May Day

Turkish Police Clash With Protesters On May Day

Turkish police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters and arrested over 200 people during the May Day rallies in Istanbul. The clashes occurred as tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets around the world to mark International Workers’ Day.

In Istanbul, where more than 42,000 police officers were deployed, authorities banned the 1 May Labour Day rallies at the city’s historic Taksim Square. Despite the ban, protesters gathered near City Hall in the Sarachane district, leading to clashes with the police. AFP reporters on the scene witnessed tear gas and rubber bullets being used to disperse the protesters.

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A total of 217 people were detained in Istanbul, while 25 were arrested in Paris where some protesters threw fireworks and stones at security forces. In Germany, 10 people were seriously injured when a parade float overturned near the city of Freiburg.

Taksim Square has long been a symbol of resistance in Turkey. It was a rallying ground for May Day celebrations until 1977 when a protest turned violent and resulted in the deaths of at least 34 people. The square was reopened in 2010 but was closed again in 2013 after protests against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

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Despite the closure, protesters continue to demand the right to gather at Taksim Square on May Day. Arzu Cerkezoglu, the Secretary General of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK), stated that they have legal grounds to celebrate May Day at the square. In 2023, Turkey’s top constitutional court ruled that the closure of Taksim Square for protests was a violation of rights.

The clashes between protesters and police on May Day highlight the ongoing tensions between the government and those advocating for workers’ rights and democratic freedoms in Turkey.

May Day rallies were not limited to Turkey. Across the globe, workers and activists took to the streets to demonstrate for their rights and demand better working conditions.

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In France, the turnout was lower compared to the previous year when protests against pension reforms gripped the country. The CGT union reported that over 200,000 people participated in the demonstrations, which is less than 10% of the number claimed last year. Similar protests were held in Marseille, Toulouse, Lyon, and Nantes, where clashes between police and demonstrators were witnessed.

In Germany, a parade float overturned near Freiburg, resulting in 30 injuries, including 10 serious ones. Thousands of people also demonstrated in Athens, Greece, and Tunis, Tunisia, where members of the major Tunisian UGTT trade union protested in the capital.

May Day rallies were held in Latin American countries as well. Colombian President Gustavo Petro used the occasion to announce the cutting of diplomatic ties with Israel, criticizing their actions in Gaza.

In Brazil, former union leader and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva vowed to make the rich pay more in his address to workers in Sao Paulo. Thousands of protesters gathered in Buenos Aires and other Argentine cities to voice their opposition to economic liberalization and labour reforms.

In Asia, tens of thousands of people flooded Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital, to attend rival May Day rallies organized by the main political parties. In Taiwan, workers gathered in front of the presidential office to demand better working conditions.

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Elize Coetzee for SurgeZirc SA
Elize Coetzee for SurgeZirc SAhttps://new.surgezirc.co.za
Elize Coetzee, a seasoned journalist, is the driving force behind SurgeZirc SA’s world news and world politics coverage. With an unwavering commitment to truth, Elize delves into global affairs, providing live updates, in-depth investigations, and thought-provoking analysis. Whether it’s geopolitical tensions, international diplomacy, or breaking stories, Elize’s incisive reporting keeps readers informed and engaged.
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