Protesters tried to defy the strict containment in place in Turkey this Saturday, May 1. They were unable to reach Taksim Square, the usual place of contestation in the economic capital Istanbul, or gather in other areas of the city including the popular Istiklal Avenue.
EU leaders express “deep concerns” to President Erdogan
The police brutally put an end to the parade attempts. According to the Istanbul branch of the Contemporary Lawyers Association, which specializes in defending politically sensitive cases, some 230 people have been arrested, reports the Ahval news site.
President Erdogan celebrates workers’ day
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meanwhile celebrated Workers’ Day. “I congratulate my brothers [et sœurs] workers who with the sweat of their brow also make our country grow ”, he rejoiced on Twitter.
Arrests on May 1 Labor Day are commonplace in Turkey. Taksim Square has been a gathering place on May 1, with frequent clashes, since 34 people were killed there on May 1, 1977, during a turbulent period in modern Turkish history. Demonstrations there have been repeatedly banned by the authorities in recent years.
Prohibition on recording police violence
According to an AFP correspondent present at the scene, police officers violently repulsed a group of protesters with their shields, while others dragged people on the ground, as some images and videos posted on social networks also show. Even if the police prevented the journalists from recording the police brutalities committed during the arrests, reports Ahval.
The Interior Ministry ordered the police Thursday April 29 to prevent any video or audio recording of the officers on duty, recalls the news site. This decision by the director general of security followed recent demonstrations by students of Bogaziçi University who protested against the appointment of a government official to head the university.