19 killed in Diyarbakır, Van and Batman in protests against ISIL siege of Kurdish town
19 killed in Diyarbakır, Van and Batman in protests against ISIL siege of Kurdish town –
Nineteen protesters were killed and dozens injured across Turkey on Tuesday as sympathizers of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) resorted to violent demonstrations in protest of the Turkish government for not providing military support to an affiliate of the PKK in Syria, which is fighting to prevent the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from capturing Kobani, also known as Ayn-al Arab.
Due to the widespread violent protests in the mainly Kurdish Southeast of the country and in cities such as İstanbul and İzmir, a curfew was imposed late the same day in six provinces when the protests tuned violent. Protesters clashed not only with the police, but also among themselves in cities such as Diyarbakır and Batman.
Ten people in Diyarbakır, three in Mardin, three in Siirt, one in Van and Batman provinces were killed on Tuesday in the clashes between supporters of the PKK and the Free Cause Party (Hüda-Par), a pro-Kurdish/radical Islamist party. Hüda-Par is ideologically aligned with ISIL, alongside which some young Kurds have been reportedly fighting in Syria.
Another protester, Hakan Bursur, 22, died during protests in Varto, Muş province, when a tear gas canister hit him on the head. Among the casualties, two others were also reportedly killed by tear gas canisters fired by the police.
Late into the night on Tuesday, gunshots were heard in Diyarbakır, and protests also continued on Wednesday in some parts of city despite the curfew, which will be in effect until 06:00 hours on Thursday.
On Wednesday, protesters who set fire to tires on the street clashed with the police in various parts of the city. One protester was injured during the clashes.
Authorities announced a curfew in Kurdish populated districts in Diyarbakir, Siirt and in the town of Van, where thousands of protesters rallied against ISIL’s advance on Kobane.
Last Wednesday, Erdogan promised in a speech that Turkey would fight ISIL and “other terrorist organisations”.
The president’s vow came a day before the Turkish parliament granted authority to send forces into Syria and Iraq.
“We will fight effectively against both [ISIL] and all other terrorist organisations within the region,” said Erdogan as he opened the parliament’s autumn session. “This will always be our priority.”
The Turkish army, however, has so far not intervened in the heavy fighting across the border.
Turkey is not a part of the US-led coalition, but has sent tanks to border areas threatened by ISIL advances towards Kobane.
Kurdish forces have been trying to stop the group’s advance for weeks but on Monday ISIL fighters entered the town from the south and east and raised their flag over a hill and a building near the Turkish border.