News / Europe

Clashes Roil Istanbul as World Marks May Day

Turkish police clash with protestors at a May Day demonstration in Istanbul, May 1, 2013.Turkish police clash with protestors at a May Day demonstration in Istanbul, May 1, 2013.
x
Turkish police clash with protestors at a May Day demonstration in Istanbul, May 1, 2013.
Turkish police clash with protestors at a May Day demonstration in Istanbul, May 1, 2013.
Selah Hennessy
Police in Istanbul have clashed with May Day demonstrators. The protestors were trying to reach the main square, where a planned demonstration had been banned. Elsewhere in Europe, May Day rallies were peaceful.

In Istanbul, police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse demonstrators.

The government had banned a rally in Taksim Square, which is undergoing renovation. They said the ban was for security reasons, and clashes began after hundreds of people tried to bypass barricades around the square.

Ercan Karakas, a member of main opposition Republican People's Party, was there. He said May Day has been celebrated peacefully before by thousands of people and no one suffered, because May Day celebrations were not prohibited by the government. Prohibition, he said, always leads to clashes.

  • A May Day protester jumps away from a water cannon during clashes between riot police and protesters trying to break through barricades, Istanbul, Turkey, May 1, 2013.
  • Turkish riot police clash with May Day protesters in central Istanbul, May 1, 2013.
  • A man carries a portrait of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin during a Labor Day, or May Day, march in St. Petersburg, Russia, May 1, 2013.
  • Supporters of the Albanian Red and Black Alliance party shout slogans during a May Day protest in front of the Albanian prime minister's office in Tirana, May 1, 2013.
  • People carry a banner during a May Day celebration organized by the Austrian Social Democrats and trade unions, Vienna, Austria, May 1, 2013.
  • Lebanese leftist activists wave flags as they march during a demonstration to mark May Day along a street in Beirut, May 1, 2013.
  • Workers march during a May Day rally in Jakarta, Indonesia, May 1, 2013.
  • South Korean police officers attempt to detain a protester during a May Day rally in central Seoul, May 1, 2013.
  • Protesters, wearing a horse head mask and chains, take part in a May Day protest in front of the Executive Yuan building in Taipei, Taiwan, May 1, 2013.
  • Garment workers attend a march to mark May Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, May 1, 2013.

Peaceful celebrations elsewhere

International Workers' Day, which is commonly known as May Day, celebrates the international labor movement. It’s a national holiday in more than 80 countries around the world.

Elsewhere in Europe, demonstrations to mark the annual celebration went peacefully.

In Greece, workers marked May Day with demonstrations and a 24-hour strike that hit transport systems and hospitals. In the capital Athens, thousands protested against government spending cuts and tax hikes.

Kostas Tsikrikas, president of the Confederation of Civil Servants trade union, said his organization would continue to battle against austerity. He said Greeks will continue to fight to overturn this unfair and dead-end policy that is destroying millions of jobs on a national and European level and is driving large swathes of society to poverty and destruction.

The Greek government is implementing a tough austerity policy spurred by its international lenders.  

Spain, Greece struggle

The European Union and the International Monetary Fund have pledged 240 billion euros - or nearly $320 billion - to Greece since 2010. Greece remains mired in trouble, however, and now is in its sixth year of recession.

Alexis Tsipras, leader of the opposition party Syriza, joined Wednesday’s protest. He said the government had gone too far with its austerity measures, and that it is the workers on the frontline who will rebuild the Greek economy.

In Spain, the two largest trade unions urged workers and the unemployed to join over 80 demonstrations.

It was reported this week that Europe’s unemployment rate has reached an all-time high. Within the 17 countries that use the euro, 12.1 percent of the population, or 19.2 million people, now are unemployed.

In Greece and Spain, the numbers were highest - hovering at about one-quarter of the population in each country.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Nigerians Await New President With High Hopes

When pomp and circumstance of inauguration end in Abuja, Buhari will sit down to the hard task of governing Nigeria More

India's Restrictions on Several NGOs Raise Concerns

Political analysts link recent clampdown on advocacy groups to report last year that said foreign-funded NGO’s negatively impact economic development More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Halmid Ochgulou from: Turkey
May 01, 2013 1:24 PM
Turkey is imploding... we hoped the Turkish military would take over the Islamic Government but the Turkish military is gutted and in the process of decayed disintegration. so sad to see a once so proud Military organization so humiliated by the Turkish version of the Muslim Brotherhood...
In Response

by: john from: richmond
May 02, 2013 8:40 AM
@halmid if that was true erdogan wouldn't have high ratings. Any country that is military controlled is corrupt.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs