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Istanbul’s May Day demonstrations turn violent

From Maypoles to May baskets, this year’s May Day inspired a different type of excitement in Istanbul, where more than 140 people have been detained after clashing with police over anti-government and labor protests on International Workers’ Day.

Turkish police used teargas and water cannons to disperse the Leftist and union protesters who defied a government-ban and marched on Istanbul’s Taksim Square, the location of many past protests. According to the Associated Press, protesters fought back with stones and firecrackers. More than 20 have been injured.

The government banned protests in Taksim Square on May 1, the same site where 34 people were killed in 1977, and a meeting ground that led to “weeks of unrest in 2013.” This year, more than 10,000 Turkish police were stationed at the square to crackdown on those who tried to define the ban.

According to Al Jazeera, this year’s protests come just two months after parliament passed a security bill giving more power to the police to crackdown on protests.


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