May 1 - Turkish riot police fire water cannon and tear gas to disperse crowds gathering for a May Day rally in central Istanbul. Simon Hanna reports.
Tear gas fills the streets of central Istanbul, as police clash with crowds gathering for a May Day rally. Thousands of police were stationed across the city centre to block access to Taksim square. Large trade union federations had wanted to march to the central square but authorities denied them permission, saying construction work there would make it too dangerous. But crowds of protesters converged in different parts of the city in the early morning and attempted to storm police barricades. Several people were reported injured in the standoff. Although May Day is a traditional workers' holiday across most of Europe, it was cancelled as a national holiday in Turkey following a 1980 coup. The holiday was then reinstated in 2010 under pressure from trade unions.