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Turkish police detained hundreds during locked May Day marches

Turkish police have detained 212 protesters after clashes broke out on Saturday’s May Day marches amid a coronavirus curfew, according to Istanbul’s governor’s office and Reuters witnesses.

Riot police and plainclothes officers clashed with union leaders and other protesters and threw some to the ground before detaining dozens of them near Istanbul̵

7;s Taksim Square, Reuters videos and images show.

The governor’s office said some unions were allowed to hold memorials to mark the annual holiday, while others who “gathered illegally” in violation of the lock and ignored calls for dispersal were detained.

The Anadolu State Agency said 20 protesters were also detained in the western city of Izmir.

Turkey adopted a 17-day partial blockade this week, including orders to stay at home and close schools and some businesses to curb the tide of coronavirus infections.

Local media reported on efforts by police in Istanbul and Ankara to block reporters from filming May Day demonstrations and detentions, citing a new police circular.

Turkish media reported on Friday that officials have been instructed not to allow people to take pictures or record security forces on smartphones while on duty, a move critics called illegal and a threat to citizens’ rights. Read more

Turkish police have not commented on the reports.

The DISK press union said on Twitter that journalists filming the May Day events were “blocked by police”, adding “a police circular cannot prevent” coverage.

Our standards: Thomson Reuters’ principles of trust.

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