World Bulletin/News Desk
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc has defended the police over the clashes that erupted between them and some violent groups during the May 1 celebrations in various parts of Istanbul on Wednesday, stating that the police were just doing their job, while the Republican People's Party (CHP) is blaming the government for the clashes.
Clashes between violent groups and the police due to the groups' insistence on holding unauthorized May Day rallies mainly in Istanbul's central Taksim Square turned the city into a battlefield on May 1 Labor and Solidarity Day, leading most Istanbulites to suffer from the halt of public transportation services as part of security measures. There were clashes not only in Taksim Square, where labor unions insisted on holding a mass rally, but also in other parts of Istanbul such as Beşiktaş, Mecidiyeköy and Şişli.
Responding to questions by reporters following an event in Ankara on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Arinc stated: “Administrative chiefs were aware that some groups compromising members of nongovernmental organizations and a small number of workers, but mostly marginal and anarchist groups, would hold unauthorized demonstrations, not with the intention of celebrating the day, but to destructively target the government. That was why they didn't allow the groups to hold demonstrations. Despite all the measures, some undesirable incidents erupted. These are sad events; even some politicians were involved in the incidents.”
Defending the police, Arinc stated that the police and other security forces had to do their jobs and intervene with the violent groups who were attempting to hold unauthorized demonstrations. “Unfortunately some people were hurt, injured during the clashes. … We should not forget the videos that displayed violent groups attacking the police with sling shots, stones or iron rods which were broadcasted on TV news programs. Many police officers suffered injuries to their heads and other parts of their bodies. The security units had to do their jobs and they will continue to do their jobs in the future.”
However, CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu slammed the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government for the clashes that erupted in Istanbul on Wednesday. Speaking during his visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) on Thursday, Kilicdaroglu accused of the government turning Istanbul into a hell on May 1.
A total of 22 police officers were injured during the clashes while three of the officers suffered life-threatening injuries.
In the meantime, Istanbul Governor Avni Mutlu announced on Thursday that three of the civilians, including 17-year-old Dilan Alp, who were injured during the May 1 clashes are all members of a marginal group.
Tensions escalated on Wednesday when groups attempted to march towards Taksim Square despite the government's ban of gatherings there due to ongoing construction in the area. A group consisting of members from the Turkish Communist Party (TKP), the Workers' Party (İP) and the Halkevleri Association came together in front of the CHP's Beşiktaş office. The police intervened when the group wanted to walk up to Taksim to commemorate the day, detaining two protesters.
Some of the protesters threw cobblestones at police officers and two reporters covering the incidents were injured in the clash.Last Mod: 03 Mayıs 2013, 11:06