1 May: Dozens arrested by the police in Istanbul

In Istanbul, dozens of people have been arrested during events marking the May Day of Labour Struggle.

After many members of the trade unions federation DISK were arrested in the morning while trying to hold a symbolic May Day rally in the central Taksim Square in Istanbul, a group of members of ESP (Socialist Party of the Oppressed) and other organisations were also attacked by the police.

The activists wanted to march from Mecidiyeköy to Taksim in order to make clear their demands for the Workers' Day of Struggle under the conditions of the Corona pandemic. The group chanted "Long live May Day" in Turkish and Kurdish and held a banner reading "Long live May Day, long live socialism".

The activists were then attacked and beaten by the police, thrown on the ground, handcuffed on their backs and dragged across the street. Journalists were prevented by the police from taking photographs of what happened. Those arrested were taken to Vatan police station.

Taksim Square has had a special significance for the left movement in Istanbul since 1 May 1977. At that time, according to official figures, 37 people were killed by Turkish security forces during a mass rally.

Dozens of people were also arrested in the districts of Osmanbey and Kadiköy during May Day actions.