Istanbul's Taksim Square closed for May Day events

Istanbul's Taksim Square closed for May Day events

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Istanbuls Taksim Square closed for May Day events

Only union leaders, and nongovernmental organization representatives would be allowed to commemorate the fallen in Taksim this year, minister says. DAILY NEWS photos / Emrah GÜREL

Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square will be closed to May Day celebrations this year, Interior Minister Muammer Güler said earlier today, citing the square’s pedestrianization as the reason for the prohibition.

“The square is not physically suitable for the celebrations this year due to the current pedestrianization project in the area,” Güler told members of the press.The Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Türk-İş) has asked the Istanbul Governor’s Office for a permit to mark May Day in the square, he said, but added that it would not be appropriate to do so this year. “It is difficult for police officers to take security measures in the area due to the project. We will negotiate with labor unions to fix another venue for the mass rally,” Güler said.

But the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK) has they will insist on holding their celebration of the day in Taksim regardless of authorities’ prohibitions. Taksim Square was reopened to celebrations in 2009, 32 years after deadly celebrations in 1977 in which 34 people were killed.