Turkey is in a tough lockdown, and meetings are only allowed to a limited extent. Protesters in Istanbul and Ankara still wanted to protest on Labor Day. The police brutally pushed her back.
The Turkish police arrested dozens of people on Saturday who wanted to hold Labor Day rallies despite a ban on Corona gatherings. According to AFP correspondents, at least a hundred demonstrators were detained in Istanbul alone while attempting to enter the emblematic Taksim Square or the adjacent Istiklal Street. There were at least 11 other arrests in Ankara, according to local media.
According to an AFP reporter, the officials in Istanbul were sometimes brutal against the demonstrators. Again and again they pushed the crowd back with their shields or forcibly dragged individual participants away. According to media reports, armored vehicles were also in use. The Istanbul branch of the Contemporary Bar Association, which specializes in the defense of politically sensitive cases, reported a total of more than 230 arrests.
Disabled journalists in Ankara
According to the state news agency Anadolu, the police had previously allowed union representatives and opposition politicians to meet in Taksim Square wearing masks and banners, to make statements and, accompanied by a heavy police presence, to lay a wreath. The square has a special meaning for the May 1st celebrations in Turkey. In 1977 snipers opened fire there on May 1 at a demonstration with around 500,000 participants. At least 34 people died. To this day it is unclear who the perpetrators were.
Police arrest demonstrators near Taksim Square in Istanbul: they had previously tried to break through a cordon. (Source: Emrah Gurel / AP / dpa)
In Ankara and other cities, the police prevented some journalists from filming protests, reported the television broadcaster Yol TV and the umbrella organization of left labor unions Disk on Twitter.
To contain the high number of corona cases, a nationwide lockdown began in Turkey on Thursday. Until May 17, people are only allowed to go out on the streets for compelling reasons such as shopping.