Tear Gassed Protesters in Istanbul
Violence erupted in Istanbul this weekend on the anniversary of the Gezi Park protests. The past few weeks have seen at least 2 deaths and many injuries.
Last month on May 1st I was tear gassed by police as they clashed with protesters in the immigrant community of Tarlabasi where I was staying. Protesters were attempting to get to Taksim Square, site of the notorious 1977 May Day Massacre where some 36 people died when unknown gunmen opened fire on the crowd of 500,000 from rooftops over the square.
Ever since, gatherings in Taksim have usually been prohibited on this day. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan banned protesters from entering the square to celebrate the holiday again this year, closing down parts of the city and sending an army of 40,000 police and 50 water cannons in to keep order and squash any resistance.
But labor unions and leftist political groups showed up anyway, armed with slingshots, gas-masks, fireworks, and molotov cocktails ready to start a fight.
Riot Police at Taksim Square
May Day Protesters Prepare for Clashes