Dozens of people have been arrested this Sunday in Istanbul during May Day demonstrations, banned for years by the authoritiesand at least 164 have been fined for participating in the marches.
“It has been intercepted and legal proceedings have been initiated against 164 people for unauthorized gathering in order to demonstrate, sing slogans, not disperse despite warnings from the security forces and resistance to authority,” the government delegation reported in Istanbul.
As usual for seven years, the Ministry of the Interior has prohibited labor movements from celebrating May Day in the emblematic Taksim Square, in the center of Istanbul, where until 2012 hundreds of thousands of people gathered to commemorate this day.
The square has been surrounded by strong security measures, with several streets closed to traffic and pedestrian traffic, and the Police have prevented numerous groups of people who tried to march towards Taksim from accessing the area.
A sanctioned celebration in a park in Maltepe, on the eastern outskirts of Istanbul, has drawn tens of thousands of people, and authorities have allowed certain union delegations to lay wreaths in Taksim.
May Day is being celebrated in dozens of cities in Turkey, generally peacefully, but both in Istanbul and Ankara there have been police charges against some groups of protesters.