Dozens of protesters were arrested in Istanbul on Saturday as they tried to mark May 1 against a ban imposed by the government due to COVID-19 restrictions.
At least 100 were arrested as they tried to reach Taksim Square and other public spaces in the city, with photographs showing police firing tear gas and dragging protesters to the ground.
May 1 is marked in many countries as International Workers’ Day, Labour Day – or simply May Day – and is a public holiday in some nations, including France. In Turkey, it has traditionally brought critics of the government out on the streets and regularly provokes police crackdowns.
The Istanbul Contemporary Lawyers Association told AFP that the number of arrests could be as high as 170 people. There have also been at least 11 arrests in Ankara.
Turkey has had a strict lockdown in place since April 29 due to a deadly third wave of COVID-19.