Encounters between police, Kurdish protesters in S. Turkey

8 July, 2010

ANKARA: (KUNA) — Confrontations broke out Thursday between Turkish police and Kurdish demonstrators who gathered before the bureaus of Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, south eastern of the country, to protest Turkish military operations against outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels.

About 2,000 people gathered before the Turkish Hakkari-based bureau of PDP — that is represented in the Turkish parliament — to deliver a statement expressing their protest to the latest combat operations as well as the army’s rejection to hand over the bodies of rebels who fell during the latest military operations to their relatives, Anatolia News Agency (AA) reported today.

It added that shopkeepers in the province of Hakkari have joined the protest and closed their shops in solidarity with the prtestors, pointing out that demonstration was turned later turned into encounters between the protestors and the anti-riot police.

The confrontations erupted after the protestors hurled stones and cocktail molotov glasses at the security forces and forces responded with unleashing tear gas and hot water at them, according to local media outlets.

However, no casualties were reported as a result of these confrontations except for an officer who was injured during the mutural swap between the protestors and anti-riot squad, according to some local TV stations.

The Turkish south eastern provinces, where is a dominant Kurdish majority, usually see confrontations between pro-PKK rebel elements and security forces.

Further, armed confrontations take place in the areas bordering the mountains surrounding these provinces between the Turkish military and these rebels who fight since quarter of a century to establish an independent Kurdish homeland in the Kurdish-dominant areas.

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