Hundreds of thousands turn everywhere into Taksim
NEWS CENTER (DİHA) - Across Turkey and Northern Kurdistan, workers gathered in the hundreds of thousands to celebrate May 1, International Workers’ Day, yesterday.
Turkey marked May Day in places across the country with celebrations, apart from its largest city Istanbul, where riot police did not hesitate to use tear gas and water cannons to halt groups that attempted to rally in the streets to reach the symbolic Taksim Square.
Black Sea region celebrations of May Day were marred by a fascists attack on May Day celebrants in the city of Trabzon. 500 marched in the town of Fındıklı (near Rize) and workers also held a march in city of Hopa (in Artvin province). Workers denounced the quota system in the local tea and hazelnut industry.
In the Mediterranean city of Antalya, May Day had a festival atmosphere. Union leaders, workers and democratic forces marched across the city. Union leaders and pro-labor engineers spoke at the rally. Further east, in Adana, workers marched in the city center and the town of Karataş. The city of Antep saw a rally in spite of heavy police presence and search points.
In Diyarbakır, workers gathered at the city’s Organized Industrial Zone under the leadership of the Labor Party (EP) for a gathering. It was the first time workers in the industrial zone had celebrated May Day there. Workers in the nearby town of Ergani also held a march.
In the Kurdish city of Van, thousands gathered for a march across the city. Yurdusev Özsökmenler, running for Parliament for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), spoke to honor workers lost at the hands of the state and capital. She honored the workers killed when Turkish security forces opened fire on the May Day demonstration in Istanbul in 1977; the more than 15,000 lost to workplace neglect since the AKP took power; and the women slain in femicides that the ruling party encourages with anti-woman policies.
In the western city of İzmir, police briefly used force as some HDP members argued with officials over May Day events.
May Day celebrations and marches were held in dozens other cities like Dersim, Adana, Mersin, Balikesir, Antep, Manisa, Urfa, Hatay and Hakkari. The celebrations were joined by hundreds of thousands and passed peacefully.