"We may not be open on May the 1st," said the car rental office station manager. "The streets will be closed around Taksim Square and movement between the Asian and European sides will be restricted. You may want to take your car earlier, like today, instead of tomorrow."
That is how I learned that Labour Day was going to be a protest day in Turkey. Sure enough, Istanbul streets were lined with cordons and riot police, especially around Taksim Square.
We chose to leave for our next destination at 6am in the morning, to avoid the protest crowds and the road closures.
Even at 6am, you could see some roads already closed and submachine-gun-toting cops out in force. The white riot trucks with water cannons mounted on top were also parked along the streets.
I suppose May Day here in Turkey isn't the same as May Day in Singapore. It isn't as holiday-feeling as Singapore's and they don't have "union" leaders saying warm and fuzzy things and singing "Upturn the Downturn".
There are no photos accompanying this post. I'm just a tourist heading out of the city, for quieter parts of Turkey.