Labour Day in Turkey is celebrated every 1 May, as it is in much of the rest of the world. This is a holiday to celebrate the contributions of workers to the economy and society, and also a time to highlight where progress still needs to be made towards fair and safe working conditions.
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Protests by workers and trade unions are very common in Turkey on 1 May. But if protestors try to enter areas considered off-limits by the government, the police will intervene to remove them. Sometimes, buses even switch their regular routes to avoid ongoing protests.
Those who are not interested in politics and labour protests may just stay home and relax. They may also go on a family picnic. There will be special speeches and events to watch on TV as well.
In 1923, Labour Day first became a public holiday in Turkey. But in 1925, the holiday was banned because it had produced such violent protests during its first two years of existence in Turkey. In 1935, the holiday came back as “Spring and Flowers Day. After a bloody protest at Taksim Square in 1976, Labour Day gatherings were banned in that location. Then, in 1981, the holiday was again banned. But in 2009, it returned as “Labour and Solidarity Day”.