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Tear gas at Turkish May day protests

Thursday, May 01, 2014 - 00:55

May 1 - Turkish police use tear gas and water cannon to disperse May Day protesters as scores of people head to Istanbul's iconic Taksim Square. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Scores of protesters in Turkey clashed with police on Thursday (May 1) as they headed to Istanbul's Taksim Square for May Day celebrations, despite authorities having denied requests by unions to mark the holiday at the iconic square. Riot police fired tear gas and water cannon amid the security clampdown as protesters wearing hard hats and gas masks hurled stones. Public transportation in Istanbul has been severely restricted to prevent groups from coming to Taksim Square for May Day demonstrations. The Turkish government denied approval for celebrations at the Square for safety reasons and suggested the traditional gathering should take place at a special venue on the outskirts of Istanbul rather than the city centre. Unions rejected the idea. The authorities issued a similar ban last year, leading to thousands of anti-government protesters fighting with police as they tried to breach barricades around the huge square, which in previous years was a focal point for labour demonstrations. In 1977, 37 people were killed during May Day celebrations in the square when unidentified gunmen opened fire on a crowd of thousands, injuring more than 100 people. In 2010, the ruling AK Party government allowed Taksim Square to be opened for May Day rallies for the first time since the deadly 1977 rally.

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Tear gas at Turkish May day protests

Thursday, May 01, 2014 - 00:55