Turkish May Day: Istanbul Police Clash With Leftists


Turkish police have fired rubber bullets and tear gas at left-wing May Day protesters in central Istanbul. BBC reports:

Some of the demonstrators threw bottles and stones and set off fireworks during clashes near Taksim Square. Thousands of police blocked streets leading to the square, a traditional rallying point for leftist protesters.

Istanbul’s police chief said 136 people had been detained by police, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported. Police now have extra powers to quell unrest. A new law widens the powers of police to conduct stop-and-search and detain demonstrators.

Opponents of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuse his ruling AK Party of adopting more repressive tactics in the run-up to June elections.