Tens of thousands celebrate May Day in Istanbul - UPDATE

Tens of thousands of people gathered at the Maltepe Square in Istanbul to celebrate International Workers' Day.

The May Day rally in Istanbul this year is organized by the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), the Confederation of Public Workers' Unions (KESK), the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), the Dentists' Association (TDB) and the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) under the motto "Labour is our future". The May Day rally is taking place on the eve of the 14 May elections.

From the early hours of the morning, masses gathered in many parts of the city to march towards Maltepe Square, where a rally is being held.

Numerous political parties and non-governmental organizations also support the rally.

Before the march, 10 Partizan magazine readers were detained on the grounds that they were carrying Ibrahim Kaypakkaya banners.

People often chanted the slogans “Bijî berxwedana zindana” [Long live the prison resistance) and “Repression cannot intimidate us”.

The Peace Mothers are attending the rally in their colourful traditional clothes.

The Labour and Freedom Alliance is attending the rally with the banner “We will change together”.

The Peoples' Democratic Congress (HDK), the Greens and Left Future Party (Green Left Party) Istanbul Youth Assembly, the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), the United Forces of Struggle (BMG), the Socialist Assemblies Federation (SMF), Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Pervin Buldan are also attending the rally.

The Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD), whose members were detained and jailed in police raids on April 25, is attending the rally with banners reading "Release our arrested friends" and "The defence cannot be silenced, the ÖHD cannot be silenced".

The Student Activity marched with the photos of murdered activists, such as Deniz Poyraz, Kemal Kurkut and Tahir Elçi.

Masses entered the rally area after the police search. Hundreds of journalists were also checked at checkpoints.

The 'Yeni Yaşam' and 'Oksijen' newspapers were confiscated by the police without justification.

Victims of the earthquakes that devastated 11 cities on February 6, were commemorated. Slogans were chanted frequently, saying that the government would be held accountable for the heavy consequences of the disaster.

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Pervin Buldan and members of the Peace Mothers Assembly entered the square chanting the slogan "Jin, Jiyan, Azadi" (Woman, Life, Freedom).

Slogans were chanted and banners were displayed in the rally area protesting the aggravated isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.

The Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) attended the rally under the slogan “Break the isolation inside and outside” to protest the isolation practice in Turkey’s prisons.

Many young people chanted slogans in favour of Öcalan.

The invasion attacks of the Turkish state against South Kurdistan were also protested in the rally area.

Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the area, chanting the slogan "No to war, peace right now".

The rally started with a moment of silence for those who lost their lives in the struggle for democracy and freedom. The rally will continue with various events.