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May Day celebration in Taksim Square, Turkey after 32 years

Turkey Istanbul, The 2010 May day celebrations marked a historic day for Istanbul’s workers after the Turkish government allowed celebrations to be marked at Taksim square after 32 years.

Taksim square was banned from workers groups on May Day since 1977 which was when 37 people lost their lives after celebrations turned into violence or which some people call a massacre after unknown gunmen opened fire into the unarmed crowed causing a stampede where many where crushed to death.

May Day celebrations turkey
Peaceful celebrations as Taksim Square opens for May Day for the first time in 32 years

The celebrations were markes by tens of thousands of people from Workers groups from all over the city. The celebrations saw scenes of dancing, traditional Turkish dances and slogans which are famous for May Day celebrations.

The largely peaceful celebrations had only a single incident where Mustafa Kumlu the chairman of Turkish Confederation of Labor Unions (Turk-Is) was protested when he went up to the podium to make a speech.

Mustafa Kumlu was protested by a group made up of TEKEL, ISKI and fireman’s union workers and was imiedietly brought down from the podium to stop any possible violence.

Kumlu was then taken to the AKM (Ataturk Cultural Centre) where some workers then smashed a few glasses down. But with the cooperation of the police, the incident ended without growing.

The huge group then left the area in a peaceful manner after Union bosses of DISK and KESK went onto the podium to have their speech.

Security was tightened a day earlier in the Taksim area and preparations were made as glasses of bus stops were removed and large police barriers were applied near pavements to block protesters from smashing windows if any violence occurred.

There were also celebration in other cities in Turkey such as Ankara, Izmir, Bursa and many others but all eyes were at Taksim due to predictions of huge violences though none did occur. The main slogans by the workers groups were for better working conditions, more jobs, and better pay.

Video of May Day celebration at Taksim Square

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