Turkey Police Detain Over 200 In Tense May Day Clampdown | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Latest News

Turkey Police Detain Over 200 In Tense May Day Clampdown

Posted: May 1, 2016 at 5:42 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Turkish police on Sunday detained over 200 people in a crackdown on unauthorised protests during a tense May Day in Istanbul, using tear gas and water cannon against demonstrators and imposing a heavy security blanket on the city.

One man in his 50s was killed when he was knocked over by a police water cannon vehicle while trying to cross the road, in an incident that caused anger on social media.

The authorities prevented all public access to Taksim Square in the centre of the city — the traditional focus for protests — and the usually bustling area was deserted save for police.

Hundreds of labour and union activists, brandishing slogans promoting workers’ solidarity, took part in an officially-sanctioned action at a vast market ground in the outlying district of Bakirkoy close to the international airport.

However police used tear gas against members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) who sought to stage a protest of their own in Bakirkoy, roughly arresting several people, an AFP photographer said.

Police also used water cannon and tear gas in the district of Sisli on protesters who were trying to march on Taksim.

In the flashpoint area of Okmeydani, masked radical leftists threw Molotov cocktails and firecrackers at police and created burning barricades out of junk.

The office of the Istanbul governor said that 207 people were detained around the city for trying to march on Taksim. It said that 40 Molotov cocktails, 17 hand grenades and dozens of fireworks were seized.