Pockets of violence have marred otherwise so far peaceful May Day rallies in Turkey.
Thousands of demonstrators snaked through the streets of Istanbul carrying banners with slogans such as “Long live the 1st of May” and “Hand in hand against facism”. On the sidelines of the rally several hundred protesters clashed with police. Anger is said to have flared when protesters tried to march on one of the main squares that had been marked off limits by the city’s governor. May Day has only just been re-established as a holiday in Turkey after 30 years – it had been withdrawn after a military coup. Unions around the world are using the traditional Labour Day march to protest at the handling of the global economic crisis.