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In Photos: May Day Descends Into Chaos in Istanbul

Istanbul's Taksim Square has particular significance for the labor movement, and today many workers were blocked as they tried to march.

Istanbul's Taksim Square has taken on a particular significance for Turkey's labor workers after a May Day event in 1977 left 34 dead. And the square has recently taken on a new significance, as in 2013 it became a focal point of the Gezi Park demonstrations.

Despite Istanbul’s public transport being partially shut down and access to the square being blocked today, unions, students, the working class, LGBT people, and women attempted to march on the square to mark International Workers Day. Clashes quickly erupted as riot cops fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons, while protesters threw objects at the police.


Police acted quickly to disperse gathering groups in Istanbul making it impossible to reach Taksim en masse. Read more here.