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Istanbul rings in May 1 with extraordinary chaos

As Istanbul woke up this morning to May 1, or worldwide recognized Workers' Day, Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler moved to protect the area around Taksim, a focal point for what can often turn into violent protests, by closing roads and bridges, and cancelling the school day for 41 different area schools.

One result of Guler's radical road closures however has been to scramble and block traffic in a city already plagued by miserable traffic jams. Thousands on their way to work this morning got on the TEM freeway only to witness that entrances to the already crowded Bosphorus bridges had been reduced to one lane. Drivers forced to turn off their engines for hours on the TEM protested the situation by blowing their horns and finally getting out of their cars to spread out on the grass by the side of the freeway. Commuters abandoning hope of crossing the Bosphorus by bridge, and heading instead for ferryboats to cross the waters met another unexpected surprise: ferryboat schedules had been temporarily disrupted also by Governor Guler, for the sake of May 1 security.

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