Istanbul police detained dozens of people who were trying to hold a May Day rally in the city on Saturday in defiance of a ban ordered amid the coronavirus pandemic. detained dozens of people who were trying to hold a May Day rally in the city on Saturday in defiance of a ban ordered amid the coronavirus pandemic.
At least 100 demonstrators were detained as they attempted to walk to Taksim Square, a traditional area of protest, AFP correspondents said, and in other areas nearby including the popular Istiklal Avenue.
Police officers pushed a crowd back forcefully using their shields, while other officers dragged protesters away, a correspondent said.
The Istanbul branch of the Contemporary Lawyers’ Association said 170 people were detained.
Turkey has been under a full lockdown since April 29 with a third wave of the virus causing record numbers of daily deaths. Some 394 people died of Covid-19 in Turkey on Friday, official data showed.
There are often detentions during the annual May 1 workers’ holiday.
Taksim has been a flashpoint on May Day with frequent clashes since 34 people were killed there on May 1, 1977 during an unstable period in modern Turkey’s history.
A small group led by the Confederation of Turkish Real Trade Unions (Hak-Is) attended an officially-approved event at Taksim Square.
At least 11 people were also detained in Ankara after trying to hold May Day demonstrations, local media reported.