Lawyer appeals May Day ban at Constitutional Court

Lawyer appeals May Day ban at Constitutional Court

Lawyer appeals May Day ban at Constitutional Court

DHA Photo

A lawyer in Ankara has applied to the Constitutional Court in a bid to overturn the government’s ban on celebrating May Day at Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square.

Lawyer Sedat Vural from the Ankara Bar Association individually applied to the Constitutional Court, saying “refraining from violating the freedom of assembly and expression is an obligation.”

Vural cited the 34th Article of the Turkish Constitution, titled “The right to hold meetings and demonstration marches,” which reads, “Everyone has the right to hold unarmed and peaceful meetings and demonstration marches without prior permission.”

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he would not allow May Day gatherings in Taksim Square, the scene of protests that have dogged the government since last summer. A similar decision in May last year to ban the use of the square – a traditional and symbolic rallying point for unions – led to violence, as police cracked down on protesters in a prequel to the wave of nationwide anti-government Gezi Park demonstrations last June.

Opposition parties and unions have objected to the ban on Taksim and said they will attempt to march to the iconic city center regardle