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 Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora