- Title: TURKEY: Tens of thousands celebrate May Day in Istanbul and Ankara
- Date: 2nd May 2011
- Summary: VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATORS PERFORMING FOLKLORIC DANCES ANKARA, TURKEY (MAY 1, 2011) (REUTERS) DEMONSTRATORS CELEBRATING MAY DAY
- Embargoed: 17th May 2011 13:00
- Location: Turkey, Turkey
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA421BQC3HT809NQH3PJY42KHK0
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- Story Text: Tens of thousands of Turkish workers thronged a central Istanbul square on Sunday (May 1) for May Day celebrations, held there for the second time since the late 1970s, when unknown gunmen massacred dozens of people.
Groups from six union confederations and political parties poured into Taksim Square, singing and chanting slogans such as "long live May Day".
"All workers have to continue to be in solidarity. This is our basic right and we will continue to live in solidarity for years," demonstrator Hasan Aydogan said.
"Labour day is the most important day around the world. This should be celebrated by all the people and it should be cared and it should be understood by all the people," Burak Adam added.
The crowds waved red-and-white Turkish flags and party banners.
The protest was mostly peaceful as demonstrators gathered waving flags and dancing to music.
In 1977, 37 people were killed during May Day celebrations in the square when unidentified gunmen opened fire on a crowd of thousands. More than 100 people were injured.
Mass May Day rallies in the square were outlawed until last year.
Union leaders on Saturday (April 30) tossed dozens of red carnations at the spot on the square where the victims were shot dead. A concert was held after the union leader speeches.
In Turkish capital of Ankara, demonstrators set US flags ablaze as clashes erupted between groups. Several people were wounded.
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