Added time: 01 May 2014, Thursday 17:26
Police terror in Istanbul
International Labor Day has been celebrated worldwide, while turning violent in Turkey. Police cracked down on demonstrators defying a ban on public protests.
May Day demonstrations was scene to violent clashes in Istanbul and Ankara, the police brutality reaching its top.
In Istanbul, Turkish police fired water canon and tear gas and rubber pellets to disperse tens of thousands of protesters from defying a ban on May Day rallies and reaching Istanbul's central Taksim Square.
Main parts of the city's public transport system was shot down early in the morning to prevent people to participate in the rally. Around 40,000 police officers were deployed in Istanbul today, with dozens of water cannon trucks and armored vehicles in the roads connecting to Taksim Square.
Police have cordoned off all the avenues, streets and alleys leading to Taksim Square with metallic barriers. The surrounding neighboors around Taksim were under blocade with no possiblity of access.
Turkey's General Directorate of Security has ordered the police to use the specially-designed portable steel walls for the first time in this year's May Day. The camera-equipped walls can automatically spray tear gas when protesters push them. Three have been sent to Istanbul and one is being used in Ankara.
Early in the morning, demonstrators gathered in front of the DISK Union Confederation Headquarters in Istanbul, and began to march opening a 'May Day' banner. The police intercepted the crowd as they headed towards Taksim, firing gas canisters.
Thousands of people have been massing at different spots across the city, woving to defy the ban. The police attacked brutually against any group of people to prevent their gathering. The police used pepper gas and plastic bullets, while the protesters responded with stones and fireworks. The clashes continued the whole day.
It is reported that hundreds are wounded, and many have been detained. In Okmeydani one person was hit on the head by a gas canister and severlly injured. In Besiktas police have severly beaten people.
The number of detentions in Istanbul has risen to 138, while 51 people have been injured, according to the latest figures provided by the Progressive Lawyers Association.
There have been violent clashes in Ankara as well. Police have fired gas canisters and plastic bullets and used water cannon to prevent demonstartors from reaching the center square of the city, Kizilay. Gathering at the surrondings of Kizilay, people responded to the police attack with fireworks and stones.
In Ankara, police detained over 20 demonstrators.
May Day was celebrated in over 30 cities in Turkey in massive rallies. In many cities, where police didn't attack, the rallies were peaceful and cheerful. Izmir, the third biggest city of Turkey was scene of a massive and powerful rally with tens of thousands participants.
May Day has also been celebrated with massive turnout in Kurdistan. In Diyarbakir, thousands gathered in Dagkapi Square under intense security measures. The speeches in the rally focused on the peace process, the government's construction of new outposts and on the Rojava Revolution. The May Day message of Abdullah Ocalan was also announced in the meeting.
The police intervened in the protest in town of Tatvan in Bitlis with water cannon and pepper gas and the protesters responded with stones. It was reported at least 10 people had been detained. The people were protesting at police raids on the morning of 29 April in which 7 people were arrested.