Turkish police intervene May Day demonstrators, two detained .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ISTANBUL - Turkish police intervened early Friday with demonstrators gathered in a central district of Istanbul, detaining two people, the state-run Anatolian Agency reported. (UPDATED)

Photo: Turkey's troubled history with May Day
Photo: Police intervene May Day demonstrators

The confrontation came after the authorities refused to open Istanbul’s controversial Taksim Square for May Day celebrations despite the unions' insistence. The authorities say they will allow "a reasonable number" of people to enter the square to lay a wreath to commemorate those killed more than three decades ago.

The Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions, or DISK, began to march to Taksim with a group of around 2,000 people, the TV channels reported from their headquarters in the Pangalti district.

The Confederation of Turkish Real Trade Unions, or Hak-Is, is also marching to Taksim Square with around 1,000 people from the southern way.

The authorities have allowed a group to march to Taksim Square to lay a wreath, but police intervened with a group of 200 demonstrators who wanted to join the march. During the clashes windows of some shops were smashed.

The chairman of DISK, Suleyman Celebi, told reporters they want to celebrate the May Day in a modern and democratic atmosphere. "I urge everybody not to lose their cool," he added.

Turkey has banned all celebrations at Taksim Square of Istanbul after more than 30 people were killed during May Day celebrations in 1977.

Police however drove the crowd back using water and pepper gas, in an incident reminiscent of similar confrontations that occurred in 2007 and 2008.

In Taksim, the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions, or Turk-Is, entered the square and laid a wreath to commemorate the deaths of 1977. Turk-Is and Hak-Is will attend celebrations being held in Kadikoy Square on the Asian side of Istanbul, where the authorities have granted permission to gather.

Starting from 5:30 a.m. (0330 GMT), the metro line between Sishane, Taksim and Mecidiyekoy will not be operating, although it will run between Mecidiyekoy and Ataturk Oto Sanayi, the last stop, reported Turkish television channel NTV.

The nostalgic trams, called funiculars, that operates on Istiklal Street between Kabatas and Taksim and between the Kadikoy and Moda districts on the Asian side of Istanbul will not be operating today either.

Besides the trams and the funicular, the ferries operated by Istanbul Fast Ferries Co, or IDO, between Kadikoy, Besiktas and the Princes’ Islands will not run after 8 a.m. Service to these ferry ports will be made from other locations that will be determined by the police.

Buses operated by the Istanbul Public Transportation Authority, or IETT, will not stop at Taksim Square, the expected Istanbul hub for May Day demonstrations.