Riot police and Kurdish protesters have clashed in southeastern Turkey during a funeral for a PKK militant killed in a shootout with the army. As the demonstrators in the town of Cizre in the province of Şırnak threw stones and let off firecrackers, police used tear gas and smoke grenades. Clashes and arrests were also reported in the region’s largest city of Diyarbakir. In the past week eight militants and two soldiers have been killed.
Tension has been heightened amid a mass hunger strike in more than 50 jails. Hundreds of people, mostly Kurdish activists or sympathisers, have been refusing food. They want better conditions for the PKK’s jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan, more recognition for the Kurdish language and an end to harassment of activists. Some of the hunger strikers are said to be in a critical condition, but Turkey’s prime minister has dismissed the protest as a “show”.