Thousands of workers are demonstrating for May Day in Kurdish-majority cities of southeast Turkey, with large rallies in Van, Batman, and Izmir. Meanwhile, in Kurdish-led North and East Syria, the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM) has called for May Day street protesters to demand an end to the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan.

Large May Day rallies are taking place on 1 May in Kurdish-majority cities of Turkey and across North and East Syria, under a heavy police presence. The contributions of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan to workers’ rights were emphasised by May Day demonstrators in Kurdish-led North and East Syria.

Thousands of workers have gathered this morning in the city of Batman, southeast Turkey, to celebrate 1 May, under the banner of the Labour and Democracy Platform.



A mass May Day demonstration is also underway in (Van) Wan, with workers marching to the Musa Anter Peace Park. The slogan for the demonstration is “Labour is ours, our world is ours”. Hundreds of women workers have joined the march together, chanting “Jin Jiyan Azadi” (Women, Life, Freedom).

The march is supported by the Confederation of Public Employees’ Unions (KESK), the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions (DİSK), the Wan Bar Association, the Wan-Colemêrg Medical Chamber, the Chamber of Dentists and the Union of Chambers of Turkish Architects and Engineers (TMMOB) Wan Branch, the Free Women’s Association (TJA), the Mesopotamia Women Journalists Association (MKG) and the Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG).