May Day protests in Berlin

BERLIN: Berlin police fought May Day demonstrators who hurled bottles and stones early Friday, making 49 arrests while about 30 police were injured, a spokesman said.

There were also clashes in the northern city of Hamburg.

In the capital around 5,000 extra police were to be deployed later on Friday to avert troubles by far-left demonstrators that have marred the labour day holiday for two decades in Germany.

Authorities expect a higher turnout this year because Germany is in its deepest recession since World War II, with the government this week predicting one of the deepest downturns among major economies.

Police said however that the overnight troubles in Berlin and Hamburg had been less serious than feared.

Several hundred May Day demonstrators clashed with police in central Istanbul on Friday in battles which saw water cannon fired and several arrests made.