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Turkey police clash with protesters on May Day, detain dozens

Turkish police have detained more than 160 protesters who were trying to hold a May Day rally in defiance of a ban imposed by the governor’s office.

AFP images show riot police clashing with protesters near Istanbul’s Taksim Square and pinning some of them forcefully to the ground before rounding them up in a police car.

The Istanbul governor’s office says that 164 people were detained after staging “an unauthorized rally” and refusing to disperse despite police warnings.

An AFP photographer says he saw around 20 protesters detained near Taksim Square.

There are often detentions during the annual May 1 workers’ holiday.

Taksim has been a flashpoint on May Day with frequent clashes since 34 people were killed there on May 1, 1977, during an unstable period in modern Turkey’s history.

A small group led by the Confederation of Turkish Revolutionary Trade Unions attended an officially approved event at Taksim Square.

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