[UPDATE] At least 207 detained during May Day celebrations in İstanbul

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Turkish riot police arrest a protester attempting to defy a ban and march on Taksim Square to celebrate May Day in İstanbul, on May 1, 2017. YASİN AKGÜL / AFP

Turkish riot police detained at least 207 people during May Day celebrations across İstanbul on Monday, according to a statement from the İstanbul Governor’s Office.

The central venue of the celebrations in İstanbul was the public bazaar in İstanbul’s Bakırköy neighborhood since Taksim Square, which is the symbolic venue of May Day festivities, was closed by the Turkish government for the day.

Police officers took photos of every banner that was brought by demonstrators to the area, and words such as KHK, or government decree, and OHAL, or state of emergency, were cut out of the banners.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government declared a state of emergency in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15. During emergency rule, which is still in effect, thousands of people have been purged from state institutions on coup charges through controversial government decrees, which cannot be challenged in court.

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