Progressive representatives from the opposition parties marched against the curfew and celebrated May Day in Turkey

The National Assembly representatives were able to reach the monument and place the wreath at the monument and read a joint statement prepared by the labor confederations DISK, KESK, the government workers unions confederation, the Chamber of Engineers and Architects and the Chamber of Physicians of Turkey.

Progressive representatives from the opposition parties marched against the curfew and celebrated May Day in Turkey

Progressive representatives from the opposition parties marched against the curfew and celebrated May Day

 

The representatives who witnessed the attack of the police on the labor union confederation DISK earlier in the morning picked up the May Day wreath the police had torn up and marched to the banned Taksim Square.

 

Turkish government, using coronavirus as an excuse, had banned all May Day celebrations.  All other days are free for workers to go to work or go out shopping in efforts to revive the sinking economy.

 

Earlier, the DISK headquarters was surrounded by police who also blocked all entrance to the neighborhood by closing the streets to all foot or vehicle traffic.   However, when the unionists from the Confederation of Progressive Labor Unions, DISK, insisted on marching and laying a wreath at the monument at the Taksim Plaza, the traditional location of May Day celebrations, the police attacked and tore the wreath.

 

In the attack many unionists, including the president of DISK, Arzu Çerkezoğlu, was detained only to be released later in the afternoon.

 

Picking up the effort to celebrate the May Day from where the detained unionists had left, the progressive and socialist representatives from the National Assembly took the torn wreath and marched to the monument at Taksim Square.

 

Taksim Square had been the site of many clashes in later years for May Day where the working-class representatives and workers demanded to celebrate the workers’ day at this location, the traditional celebration square.  In 1977, in one of the largest May Day celebrations, assassins from the roof tops of the buildings only accessible by government forces had opened fire upon the demonstrators and the speakers at the rally in this plaza and 34 people had lost their lives in the aftermath.

 

The Islamic and pro-business Turkish government of AKP party had banned all demonstrations in recent years, save the ones that are pro-government, around the Taksim Monument and the plaza citing “security reasons.”  However, this year the government used the coronavirus epidemic as the excuse to declare an all-out curfew to keep the people away from the streets, plazas and any kind of workers’ day celebrations.

The National Assembly representatives were able to reach the monument and place the wreath at the monument and read a joint statement prepared by the labor confederations DISK, KESK, the government workers unions confederation, the Chamber of Engineers and Architects and the Chamber of Physicians of Turkey.

 

The progressive representatives from the opposition parties blamed the Interior Minster Soylu personally for the detention of the labor unionists who, they say, ordered the detentions.

 

Sendika.org News  (M.B.)

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