The Turkish government spared no effort to block protesters from heading to Istanbul’s Taksim Square, now an iconic space of anti-Erdogan protest. It erected barricades, cut bus and ferry lines and deployed some 40,000 police all to keep protesters from turning out on International Workers Day.
Those moves didn’t keep thousands from marching toward the Taksim in spite of a decades-long ban on organizing there on the historic day of protest.
In a show of government strength and an example of what Turks have been protesting for the last year, demonstrators were met with water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets and reportedly even steel pellets. At least 138 people have been arrested and more than 50 have been injured in clashes with the police.