Turkish unions eye Taksim Square for May Day celebrations
DHA photoThe Confederation of Public Servants Trade Unions (Memur-Sen) has applied to the Istanbul Governor’s Office for a second time to hold May 1 International Workers’ Day celebrations in the city’s central Taksim Square, daily Cumhuriyet reported on April 6.
Taksim Square has symbolic meaning for the Turkish left, as over 30 people were killed in 1977 when suspected nationalists opened fire on the participants of May Day celebrations from what is now the Marmara Hotel.
Although recognized as an official holiday, May Day celebrations have not been permitted in Taksim Square since 2012.
Upon receiving a rejection from the governor’s office concerning the venue of the event, the union sent another application to the office to celebrate the day in Taksim.
Meanwhile the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK) and the Confederation of Public Employees Trade Unions (KESK) also stated their intention to celebrate International Workers’ Day in Taksim this year, as DİSK’s secretary-general, Arzu Çerkezoğlu, said they would make the final decision at a board meeting next week.
Çerkezoğlu also recalled that DİSK, along with KESK and the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), had been acquitted in a criminal case in which they were charged for making a call to celebrate International Workers’ Day in Taksim last year.