Turkish police stage crackdown across Istanbul
Istanbul police staged crackdown on thousands of people who poured out into the streets today to celebrate the International Worker's Day.
Istanbul police staged crackdown on thousands of people who poured out into the streets today to celebrate the International Worker's Day. Masses wanting to march to the symbolic Taksim Square faced brutal attacks by police teams heavily deployed around the square.
Images of violence shared on social media accounts show police teams firing water cannon on a graveyard even, and chasing people on roofs of the houses in the areas they terrorized people.
A large number of groups started to gather at Beşiktaş Square as of early morning hours. Led by DİSK, KESK, TMMOB and TTB, masses, that included workers, laborers, NGOs, occupational groups, political parties, youth and women's organizations, faith groups and students chanted slogans voicing their demands.
A large group of HDP members and supporters, workers of Tuzla shipyard notorious for workplace murders, and political fan club of Beşiktaş, Çarşı were also present in the area.
Executives of DİSK, KESK, TMMOB and TTB who held negotiation talks with police at 12, when the march had been set to start, asking for the removal of the barricades on the way leading to Taksim, were told by police that a symbolic group of 300 people alone could be allowed to go to the Taksim Square.
Negotiation talks with police continued for two hours, during which also DİSK General President Kani Beko reportedly had another talk with the governor of Istanbul, Vasip Şahin, and conveyed the people's demand to be allowed to reach Taksim.
Police started to attack the mass as Kani Beko was about to make a statement to the crowd after coming back from the meeting with the governor. To the attack with rubber bullet, tear gas and pressure water, the mass responded with stones and water bottles.
People deliberately targeted by police
The crackdown expanded to the side streets in neighborhoods where police have deliberately targeted the people while firing rubber bullets. Many were brutally battered and detained by police teams the rest of whom on the other hand chased people in the buildings firing tear gas. Many press workers covering the “May Day celebrations” have also been effected by the attack.
Police attack everywhere
Masses that gathered in Kurtuluş, Hacıahmet, Dolapdere and Okmeydanı and wanted to march to Taksim Square were also subject to brutal crackdown and detention by police.
As clashes are continuing at many points across the city, hundreds have been reported detained so far.