There have been protests throughout Turkey at a Government ban on May Day in thirty of the sixty-seven Turkish provinces.
GV Taxim Square in Ankara, Turkey
CU Troops stopping traffic
TV Armoured vehicles and soldiers on guard (2 shots)
GV Group of armed police standing by (2 shots)
CU Soldiers beside armoured personnel carriers (2 shots)
TV PAN & SV Stationary buses at depot (2 shots)
SV PAN Police and armoured vehicle outside school in Istanbul (2 shots)
SV PAN FROM Booby-trapped banner on wall TO policemen walking by
SV PAN DOWN FROM Booby-trapped banner on roof TO armoured vehicle on patrol
The worst violence on May Day itself took place in the port city of Mersin, 350 kilometres (220 miles) east of Ankara. At least one person was killed and four wounded, including two policemen, when shooting broke out during a May Day rally. The Southern Turkish city was among areas not included in the Government ban.
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Background: There have been protests throughout Turkey at a Government ban on May Day in thirty of the sixty-seven Turkish provinces. More than one thousand people were arrested after troops clashed with leftist and workers during two days of unrest. The Government imposed the ban because of political violence which has plagued Turkey for over a year.
SYNOPSIS: The worst trouble occurred in the capital of Ankara, where several students were detained after battles with troops and police. Thousands of heavily-armed troops including elite commandos, were on patrol throughout the city. Every organisation in Turkey, from universities to the police, is split between left and right wing factions and tension was high during the two days before May Day. Several buildings in Ankara were occupied, including a state research plant and the university, where left wing students exchanged shots with soldiers. Armoured vehicles were used to block roads leading to the university's political science faculty.
When troops later searched some university buildings and high schools in Ankara, they found a large selection of weapons, including pistols, hand grenades and booby-trap devices. The tense atmosphere was further aggravated by the detention of Abdullah Basturk, the chairman of the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions and the country's most senior left wing trade union leader.
Transport services in most of the big cities stopped when the Confederation of Progressive Labour Unions called a twenty-four hour strike on Wednesday (30 April) in protest at the ban on May Day demonstrations.
The unrest spread to Istanbul, where several schools also were occupied. Major Turkish cities have been under marital law for more than a year because of political killings.
Booby-traps have been attached to political posters and at least one person died when one of the placards exploded. Most of the booby-trapped banners were found in the grounds by high schools which students evacuated after their occupation.