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Over 200 injured, 70 detained in May Day celebrations in Istanbul

ISTANBUL

Seventeen year old high school student Dilan Alp and twenty-seven years old Meral Dönmez are fighting for their life at hospital after they were both hit on the head with a gas canister fired by police yesterday in Istanbul. Both women are reported to be having a risk of death, with Dönmez having had a cerebral hemorrhage.

According to lawyer Evrim Deniz Karatana from ÇHD (Contemporary Lawyers Association), Meral Dönmez was deliberately targeted and hit by police while she was about to speak at a press statement on May Day.

The central Istanbul square of Taksim witnessed one of the most brutal police mobilization in recent years on International Workers Day after the Ministry of the Interior banned the area for celebrations on the grounds of renovation works going on in the area. Thousands of people were engaged in clashes with police forces as they started to march towards the square early in the morning. Clashes expanded to wider area and lasted till the afternoon. According to D?SK, over 200 people were injured and 70 others taken into custody in Istanbul yesterday.
Public transport ferry and boat services from the Anatolian side of the city to the European was severely restricted to prevent the people from going to the Taksim Square.

A police helicopter made a low level flight in the area the entire day, informing the police forces deployed around the area about the coordinations of groups and dropping tear gas on demonstrators.

A group of members of Hak-?? union, close to the government, obtained permission from police and entered the Taksim Square where they left a wreath, leading to reactions from the executives of many other unions.

Brutal police attack on demonstrators also targeted press members reporting the events in the area.

According to IHD (Human Rights Association) Istanbul Branch Board Member, lawyer Gülizar Tuncer, those detained yesterday have been held at Istanbul Police Directorate in handcuffs. Among them are also children and some others wounded, said Tuncer.

According to unofficial figures released by ÇHD, dozens of people were taken to hospital for treatment yesterday, three among them facing critical situation, Serdal Gül, Dilan Alp and Fehmi Oran Me?e.

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Istanbul deputies Sebahat Tuncel and S?rr? Süreyya Önder went to Taksim Training and Research Hospital to obtain information about Dilan Alp’s medical condition.

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