Turkey celebrates May Day under lockdown
Turkey has marked International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day, under the full nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Due to the full lockdown implemented across Turkey, rallies were not held, but May Day was celebrated “symbolically” in various cities.
A limited number of members from several labor unions commemorated victims of the May 1, 1977 massacre by leaving flowers close to Taksim Square.
Members of the unions also laid a wreath in Taksim Square.
Istanbul police detain dozens after May 1 protest ban
Istanbul police detained dozens of people who were trying to hold a May Day rally in the city on May 1 in defiance of a ban ordered amid the coronavirus pandemic.
At least 212 demonstrators were detained as they attempted to walk to Taksim Square, a traditional area of protest, and in other areas nearby including the popular Istiklal Avenue according to Istanbul Governorship.
Meanwhile, the Republic Monument in the square was covered with barriers while riot police teams were stationed around the monument in line with the security measures.
While the area was closed to pedestrians, security measures were also increased at metro entrances and exits.
Turkey’s president marks Labor Day
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 30 issued a message for Labor Day marked on May 1 every year.
He pledged to continue efforts to improve welfare and employment opportunities for each and every Turkish citizen.
Erdoğan said the country aims to protect the rights and interests of the workers in all of its economic development policies.
"We have made great efforts for workers to minimize the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected all globally and caused new regulations in work-life," Erdoğan said.
May Day or International Workers' Day first emerged as an event commemorating the labor of workers worldwide on May 1, 1886, when a group of workers in the U.S. held a massive strike for an eight-hour workday.
Turkey’s first official May Day celebrations were held in 1923.