Police in Istanbul are clashing with protesters trying to reach the city’s main square to mark May Day despite a government ban.

The government, citing security reasons, banned a rally on Istanbul’s Taksim Square, which is undergoing major renovations. Subways, some buses and even ferries across the Bosporus were suspended to prevent large groups from gathering on the square.

Police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of demonstrators trying to break through barricades to access the square on Wednesday.

The Istanbul Governor’s office said at least two demonstrators were detained.

Trade union groups have vowed to mark May Day on Taksim, which is of symbolic value. Dozens of protesters were killed there in 1977 when unidentified gunmen opened fire on thousands of May Day celebrators.

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