145 people detained for taking part in illegal May Day demonstrations across Turkey: ministry

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The Turkish Interior Ministry has announced that a total of 145 people have been detained for taking part in illegal May Day demonstrations across Turkey, the Diken news website reported on Wednesday.

In a written statement on Wednesday the ministry said a total of 138 demonstrations were held in 67 provinces with the participation of 303,640 people. The ministry said 16 illegal demonstrations were also staged and that 145 people who attended these demonstrations were detained.

Police intervention in May Day celebrations is frequent in Turkey. On May 1, 1977 hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Taksim Square in İstanbul. Snipers opened fire on the crowd, which led to a stampede as many people ran to the downhill Kazancı Yokuşu street, the nearest exit from the square. Forty-one people lost their lives in the massacre.

In 2010 thousands of people gathered in Taksim Square for a May Day demonstration for the first time in more than 30 years, but since 2013 bans have re-emerged for May Day gatherings there.

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