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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Turks Clash With Police on May Day

ISTANBUL -- Turkish police detained 580 people in Istanbul on Tuesday in street battles with leftist demonstrators protesting on the May Day anniversary of a mass shooting 30 years ago.

Police charged at hundreds of protesters, many from leftist organizations, kicking and clubbing them in the city's main Taksim Square and neighboring streets.

Similar clashes occurred in other parts of Turkey's largest city as riot police and special forces fired tear gas and used water canons to break up the crowds. A cloud of tear gas hung over the city's main pedestrian street.

It was not clear how many people were hurt in the clashes.

The government will be watching to see whether an official May Day march in Istanbul later on Tuesday turns into a protest against the ruling AK Party following a demonstration by up to 1 million people in the city on Sunday.

Sunday's secularist marchers were demonstrating against the government's candidate for president, accusing the ruling AK Party of having a secret Islamist agenda.

The political turmoil has unnerved financial markets.

"It's for the election and May 1. I came for both. Turkey is going through a tense period," said Erhan, 28, a driver who declined to give his full name.

Authorities have enforced a strict security clampdown in the center of Istanbul, Turkey's financial hub and largest city, which has 14 million inhabitants, to prevent May Day rallies that often attract tens of thousands of people and sometimes turn violent.

Some 17,000 police have been stationed across the city, CNN Turk television said.