Istanbul IWD
Turks demonstrate en masse against the government in IstanbulGetty

Massed ranks of Turkish police have targeted May Day protesters in Istanbul with water cannon and tear gas. Demonstrators were out in force in the city on Sunday 30 April to celebrate International Workers' Day, joining groups across the world speaking out at corporate power. Estimates of between 15,000 and 25,000 police officers came to meet them with up to 120 water cannons, and arrests were made at the city's central Taksim Square, the epicentre of previous anti-government demonstrations.

According to one report, one man died when he was hit by a water cannon truck as he tried to reach the square. 57-year-old Nail Mavus died from his injuries shortly after arriving in hospital, according to the Hurriyet news services.

Turkish authorities meanwhile claimed that they foiled plans by Islamic State (Isis) to attack the capital Ankara, which they say would have coincided with May Day celebrations. Four suspects have been detained, according to the country's Anadolu news agency.

Elsewhere, crowds in Manila burned an effigy of the Philippine president Benigno Aquino outside the US embassy. In Taipei, Taiwanese unionists marched to demand better pay and conditions.

"Hardworking labourers are being exploited by consortiums," Chen Li-jen, a protester with the Taiwan Petroleum Workers Union, told Sky News. "For the past decade, our basic salary has not made any progress. Labourers' rights have always been neglected."

In London, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn condemned anti-semitism in a major speech. "We stand absolutely against racism in any form," he told crowds, while also vowing to protect union rights under fire from the government.

And in South Korea, tens of thousands also hit the streets to protest labour reforms being pushed through by conservative president Park Geun-hye, which they labelled "evil".

Not every IWD demonstration was left-wing, however. In France, various factions of the racist far-right political party National Front held rallies. In Russia, meanwhile, tens of thousands gathered in Red Square in support of the government.

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