LONDON — Police in Istanbul have clashed with May Day demonstrators. The protestors were trying to reach the main square, where a planned demonstration had been banned. Elsewhere in Europe, May Day rallies were peaceful.
In Istanbul, police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse demonstrators.
The government had banned a rally in Taksim Square, which is undergoing renovation. They said the ban was for security reasons, and clashes began after hundreds of people tried to bypass barricades around the square.
Ercan Karakas, a member of main opposition Republican People’s Party, was there. He said May Day has been celebrated peacefully before by thousands of people and no one suffered, because May Day celebrations were not prohibited by the government. Prohibition, he said, always leads to clashes.