ISTANBUL, May 1 (AFP) - 13h40 - Turkish riot police on Sunday detained at least 47 people who rallied in a venue despite an official ban to mark May Day in the country’s biggest city Istanbul, the Anatolia news agency reported.
Police swooped down on three different protests in the downtown Taksim square on the city’s European side after the demonstrators ignored orders to disperse.
Some protestors tried to resist arrest by hitting officers with sticks and police retaliated with tear gas and truncheons, the report said.
Meanwhile, thousands of people gathered at the Kadikoy district on the Asian side of the city for a rally organized by leading trade unions and civic organizations and approved by authorities.
A large rally was also underway in capital Ankara.
There were no reports of incidents at either venues.
May 1 demonstrations have in the past led to violent clashes between security forces and demonstrators in Turkey.
In 1996, three protesters were killed in Istanbul and dozens of demonstrators and police officers were injured after violence erupted at Kadikoy.
The most deadly May Day in Istanbul was in 1977, when 37 protesters were killed in Taksim square during clashes between demonstrators and police