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Index – Internal – Dispersing demonstrators with tear gas in Türkiye

Index – Internal – Dispersing demonstrators with tear gas in Türkiye

Turkish police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators who organized a Labor Day march in Istanbul on Wednesday. The road leading to Taksim Square in the center of the Turkish city was closed with a police cordon after announcing that it was not possible to organize demonstrations in the square and other cordoned off areas in the center of the city for security reasons.

Despite this, the demonstrators tried to enter the square and began clashing with the police, but they did not succeed.

Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya announced shortly after that 210 people had been arrested.

The police also used tear gas bombs and rubber bullets against the demonstrators gathered at the Istanbul municipality building. In the city's Besiktas district, minor clashes also occurred between demonstrators and law enforcement forces.

Ozgur Ozil, leader of the largest opposition party, the Republican People's Party, called the official ban shameful and stated that the Constitutional Court's decision on the right to assembly is legally binding, and therefore “they will continue their struggle to liberate Taksim.” The square belongs to the workers.” He told the departing policemen: “These workers are not enemies and we do not want conflict, we just want to celebrate May 1.”