Kurdish Protesters Clash With Turkish Security Forces

by
Reuters
Kurdish protesters clashed with security forces in Turkey's southeast on Sunday ahead of demonstrations planned across the country to pressure the government to carry out reforms.

Kurdish protesters

Kurdish protesters clashed with security forces in Turkey's southeast on Sunday ahead of demonstrations planned across the country to pressure the government to carry out reforms.

A few hundred protesters burned tyres and closed a main road near the Cizre district of Sirnak province. Some threw firebombs at police who responded with water cannon and teargas.

Security forces killed an 18-year-old man and wounded 10 others when they fired on a group protesting against the construction of a gendarmerie outpost in the Kurdish-dominated southeast on Friday.

It was the most violent incident since a ceasefire was called in March by Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and threatens to derail a nascent peace process with the state.

Turkey's main pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) called for protest marches around the country on Sunday, raising fears of violence, while a gay pride march is due in Istanbul, as anti-government protesters seek to back gay rights.

Around 10,000 protesters marched on Istanbul's Taksim Square on Saturday, which has been at the centre of weeks of anti-government demonstrations, but were prevented from entering the square by riot police.

The protest had been planned as part of larger, anti-government demonstrations unrelated to the Kurdish peace process, but became a voice of solidarity with the Kurds after Friday's killing.

The PKK took up arms against the state in 1984 with the aim of carving out a Kurdish state, but has since moderated its goals to autonomy. PKK militants began withdrawing from Turkish territory to bases in northern Iraq last month as part of a deal between Ocalan and Turkey to end a conflict that has killed 40,000 people.