May 2, 2011 - 13:06 AMT

Though it was overall one of the calmest Labor Day celebrations in
recent years, May 1 rallies in the capital were marked by minor clashes
between various groups. Led by various unions and nongovernmental
organizations, the celebrations in capital took place in Ankara's
Sıhhiye Square with the participation of some 10,000 to 15,000 people.

The rally kicked off in a calm atmosphere but later witnessed a clash
at checkpoints formed by police between a group of people including
members from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP,
and union members. Two unionists and one journalist were injured in
the conflict, which was halted with the intervention of police and
rally organizers.

Another incident allegedly occurred between the members of the BDP
and the Turkey Youth Union near the end of the rally, according to
the private channel NTV. That clash also ended with the intervention
of security forces.

Union representatives made public statements about the significance
of the day while demonstrators protested the election promises and
policies of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP.

The rally ended nearly two hours earlier than scheduled. Its uneventful
nature was attributed to the fact that many people from Ankara had
chosen to attend the larger celebrations in Istanbul's Taksim square,
Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Groups participating in the rally included the Confederation of
Turkish Labor Unions, or Turk-Is; the Confederation of Progressive
Trade Unions, or DISK, the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions,
or KESK, and the Turkish Union of Engineers' and Architects' Chambers,

From: A. Papazian