Turkish police on Wednesday detained at least 84 people who wanted to stage a demonstration in İstanbul’s Taksim Square, where May Day protests have been banned since 2013, Euronews Turkish service reported.
Taksim Square has for decades been symbolic for Turkey’s leftist movement on May Day. However, due to the restrictions police detain protesters who attempt to get into the square from Beşiktaş and Şişli.
The May 1 organizing committee, consisting of members of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), such as the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK), the Turkish Union of Engineers and Architects Chambers (TMMOB) and the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), later announced that they would be spearheading the celebrations in Istanbul’s Bakıröy district due to the ban.
On May 1, 1977, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Taksim Square in İstanbul. Snipers opened fire on the crowd, which led to a stampede as many people ran to the downhill Kazancı Yokuşu street, the nearest exit from the square. Forty-one people lost their lives in the massacre.
In 2010 thousands of people gathered in Taksim Square for the first time in more than 30 years, but since 2013 bans have re-emerged for May Day gatherings there.