Tens of thousands of people marched in large groups to join in the Labour Day rally in Maltepe, Istanbul, on Sunday.
The rally in the city’s Maltepe district was organised under the joint leadership of the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions (DİSK), the Confederation of Public Workers’ Trade Unions (KESK), the Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects Association (TMMOB), and the Turkish Medical Association (TTB).
Pervin Buldan, MP and co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), took part in the rally with the ‘Peace Mothers’, a women’s peace and civil rights movement which promotes a democratic and peaceful solution to the Kurdish Question. Buldan walked behind banners that read, ‘We will make change together’, and ‘Against war, exploitation, plunder, poverty and oppression’.
In one incident, police refused to allow a boat bringing around 100 people to the rally to dock near the demonstration area, so one of the passengers jumped into the sea to swim ashore, where he was met with applause.
There were large numbers of university students among those who took part in the rally. Some performed the halay (traditional communal dance), and they said they were taking part on behalf of all students unable to find proper accommodation or pay their fees.
Crowds sang the 1 May anthem, which was composed and became popular during the 1970s.
Turkish pop star Tarkan’s latest hit ‘Geççek’ (‘It’ll pass’) was also played during the rally.