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Intervention to May Day event in Gezi Park 12 detained

Police intervened May Day Committee members as they gathered in Istanbul to make a press statement on this year’s celebrations. While committee members resist to make a statement, police reportedly detained some demonstrators.

Police intervened May Day Committee members from Turkey’s prominent worker and profession unions DİSK, KESK, TMMOB and TTB as they gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim Sqaure to make a press statement on this year’s celebrations. Pushing with their shields, police gripped roughly two dozens of committee members by the entrance of Taksim Sqaure. It was also reported that police sprayed tear gas during the intervention.

Istanbul police obstructed and blockaded trade unionists who gathered at Taksim Gezi Park today to issue a statement prior to the International Workers Day on May Day.

Members of the 1 May 2014 Committee, which is constituted by DISK, KESK, TMMOB and TTB, and inviters for the May Day were blockaded by police forces before they were denied permission to issue a statement at the central Gezi Park at noon today. Unionists therewith gathered outside the Taksim Hill Hotel where they were once again blockaded by police, and attacked as they started to issue their statement. Police detained two people while attacking unionists in an attempt to send them back to inside the hotel where DİSK Marmara Board of Representatives held a meeting early today.

Among the unionists are Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK) President Kani Beko and Confederation of Public Workers’ Unions (KESK) President Lami Özgen. The police attack came during a statement made by DISK, KESK, TTB and TMMOB representatives. Tension at Taksim Square remains high as police warns people and press members to leave the area. Police detained 12 unionists in the intervention. KESK President Lami Özgen reacted to police and said: “If you take someone under custody, do not take the workers. Come and detain me, KESK General President.”

DISK President Kani Beko noted: “I condemn the terror of the State. Do not detain workers, detain us, the presidents of the confederations. Intervention to workers is absolutely faulty. We want the immediate releases of our detained friends. However, we as organizations of DİSK, KESK, TTB, TMMOB, will be at Taksim Square with all friends of labour. I invite Prime Minister, Governor and Interior Minister to become respectful. There is a politicial ruling which even does not tolerate a press statement. But, these will never intimidate us.”