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May Day

Istanbul police fire tear gas and rubber bullets at May Day demonstrators

Istanbul police fire tear gas and rubber bullets at May Day demonstrators

Police in Istanbul fired tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds of May Day demonstrators Monday, and arrested 207 people.

The arrests come as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan broadens his crackdown on dissenters throughout the country. Since a failed coup attempt last July, Turkey has detained more than 47,000 people and purged at least 120,000 government employees. On Saturday alone, 4,000 civil servants were fired.

A referendum vote last month gave Erdoğan sweeping new powers, which critics say are pushing the country toward dictatorship. Amid the purges, violent reaction to protests, and crackdown on free speech — access to Wikipedia was blocked over the weekend — Erdoğan has denied that claim.

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