Filiz Gazi reports: Turkey’s labor union representatives agree that Ankara dropped the ball on protecting worker’s rights during the COVID-19 outbreak. On a grim May 1, International Workers’ Day, union representatives realize they need a new way of resistance in the post-coronavirus world.
Istanbul’s May Day under COVID-19 measures ends up with detentions, police confrontation, a destroyed wreath
Istanbul police detained the chair and 25 members of one of Turkey's largest labor unions on the morning of May 1, International Workers' Day also known as May Day. The confrontation took place as police blocked the march of Chair Arzu Çerkezoğlu and a group of representatives to Istanbul's Taksim Square, the site of the 1977 Workers' Day massacre and the traditional address for May 1 demonstrations. The group were released in the afternoon of May 1 after giving official statements.
Turkey will send medical gear including protective suits and masks to the United States to help its efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said. Erdoğan also said that Turkey will continue to implement weekend lockdowns in 31 provinces until after Eid al-Fitr in late May and the fresh lockdown this week will include the public holiday of May 1.
DİSK chair Arzu Çerkezoğlu said that Workers' Day will be celebrated on social media amid the coronavirus pandemic and a symbolic commemoration ceremony will be held in Taksim's Kazancı Hill to remember the victims of the 1977 attack. "For the first time in history, working class in the world won't be able to meet in the cities' most central squares in masses. However, despite these circumstances, world laborers will unite with the demands of jobs and income that fits human dignity, as well as social security," she said.