Over 350 detained across Turkey on May Day under curfew
A total of 355 demonstrators were detained across Turkey on International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day, for marching illegally and violating a full nationwide lockdown imposed by authorities to stem the spread of coronavirus.
Due to a 17-day full lockdown implemented by Turkish authorities, traditional rallies were not held to celebrate the day, although some labor unions and representatives of political parties were allowed to place a wreath near Istanbul’s Taksim Square to commemorate the victims of May 1, 1977 massacre.
On May 1, 1977, unidentified snipers opened fire on the crowd of hundreds of thousands of people in Taksim Square. The stampede left 41 people dead.
According to governor’s offices, police detained 355 demonstrators across the country after scuffles broke out during “unauthorized marches” amid a coronavirus-related curfew.
Police sprayed tear gas on groups of demonstrators in Istanbul after these groups tried to cross a police barricade in Taksim Square.
The governor’s office said 244 protestors were detained who had “gathered illegally,” violating the lockdown and ignoring calls to disperse from the area.
The suspects were taken to police stations and later to the Forensic Institute for medical checks.
The detainees are charged with opposing the law on holding meetings and demonstrations.
There was also tension in Ankara, İzmir, Trabzon and Artvin provinces between police and demonstrators. Some 111 demonstrators were detained.
Meanwhile, police officers have blocked reporters from filming the May Day demonstrations and detentions, with officers citing a new police circular.