Turkish riot police on Sunday detained dozens of protesters trying to reach Istanbul’s main Taksim Square for May Day demonstrations against economic hardship caused by raging inflation, Reuters reported.
The Istanbul governor’s office had allowed May Day celebrations to be held in another district, and deemed gatherings in all other locations as unauthorized and illegal.
A Reuters journalist saw riot police brawling with and handcuffing protesters, images of which were shown on television by domestic broadcasters.
Police also detained 30 people in central Besiktas and 22 others in Sisli districts, the Demiroren News Agency reported.
A statement from the Istanbul governor’s office on Sunday said that 164 protesters had been detained across the city for “attempting to hold illegal demonstrations.”
Turkey’s annual inflation rate is expected to rise to 68% in April, driven higher by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and rising commodity prices, receding only slightly by the end of the year, a Reuters poll showed.