Police Detain Many Following May Day Clashes In Turkey

Police Detain Many Following May Day Clashes In Turkey
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Turkish police on Sunday detained no fewer than 160 protesters who were trying to hold a May Day rally in defiance of a ban which was recently imposed by the governor’s office on workers in the country.

Images which were sighted on social media by Africa Daily News, New York on Monday showed riot police clashing with protesters very close to Istanbul’s Taksim Square, pinning some of them forcefully to the ground before rounding them up in a police car.

The Istanbul governor’s office confirmed that about 164 people were held after staging ‘an unauthorised rally’ and refusing to disperse despite police warnings.

‘Long live May Day,’ some of them shouted. ‘Labour and freedom! Long live May Day’ they chanted.

Read Also: Security Agents Kill 4 Protesters As Thousands Rally In Sudan

Africa Daily News, New York reports that there are often detentions witnessed during the annual May 1 workers’ holiday.

Taksim has been a flashpoint on May Day with frequent clashes since 34 people were killed there on May 1, 1977.

A small group which was led by the Confederation of Turkish Revolutionary Trade Unions attended an officially approved event at Taksim Square.

A usually bustling square lined with cafes and hotels, Taksim was also the epicentre of 2013 anti-government protests.

Protests initially erupted over an attempt to save adjacent Gezi park from demolition at the hands of the government but grew into a broader movement against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was then prime minister.

Critics have continued to accuse Erdogan of amassing great power, trampling on human rights and quashing dissent.

An Istanbul court on Monday condemned leading rights activist Osman Kavala to life in prison, a ruling that stunned Turkish civil society and prompted criticism from Ankara’s Western allies.

He was convicted of financing the 2013 protests.

The court also handed 18-year jail terms to seven other defendants, including architects, urban planners, a film producer and academics.

Africa Daily News, New York

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