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"We Don't Need to Ask Permission to Gather in Taksim"

Trade UNIONist Okcan says that workers have not and will not apply to Istanbul’s governor for permission to gather in Taksim Square on Labour Day.

DİSK has not applied for permission to Istanbul’s governor to celebrate Labour Day in Taksim Square. Necdet Okcan, a lawyer for DİSK, has said, “We believe that such an application is not necessary, we will not apply.”

Speaking with bianet, Okcan said, “May Day is a traditional public holiday with international legitimacy. Just as traditional public holidays are celebrated in Taksim, just as the police week is celebrated in Taksim, workers can celebrate in Taksim.”

Okcan added that DİSK only announced to the Beyoğlu district governor’s office every year that they would lay down carnations at the top of the Kazancı slope in the area, where many workers died when gunmen opened fire on the crowd of workers on May Day 1977.

The Confederation of Trade UNIONs of Workers in Turkey (TÜRK-İŞ) has announced that it has applied to the Istanbul governor’s office to celebrate May Day in Taksim. They say that it should be celebrated there, but that they would organise a celebration in Kadıköy if permission is refused.

In the next few days, parliament will consider a change in law that will make May Day a public holiday again, as it was until the early 1980s.

This, so Okcan, would make it much easier for workers to take part in celebrations, as they would not have to take leave from work.