Police met hundreds of May Day protesters in Istanbul’s Taksim Square with tear gas and water cannons after they defied a ban on marching to the city center.
While Istanbul has a long history of similar events on May Day, this year authorities tried to suppress demonstrations, dispersing some 10,000 police and soldiers throughout the city, blocking off roads to traffic and changing public transportation routes.
A few hundred protesters gathered in the neighborhood of Besiktas in mid afternoon, and were soon outnumbered by police and their vehicles carrying water cannons. Without provocation, the water cannons began firing on the gathered people, apparently in attempt to break up the crowd.
Some protesters fought back by throwing stones and firecrackers at the police. Reportedly, 136 arrests were made.