Up to Twelve 'Dead' in Turkey after Kurds, Police Clash

Southeast Europe | October 8, 2014, Wednesday // 08:47|  views

Photo by BGNES

Demonstrations held in various Turkish townds and cities claimed at least 12 lives on Tuesday.

The protest were called over what Kurds describe as the government's "inaction" about the Syrian town of Kobane, earlier exposed to an attack of Islamic State (IS).

Turkey's largest city Istanbul and the capital Ankara also saw big rallies, with security forces using tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowd.

The death toll stands at 12 according to BBC
reports, and Hurriyet Daily News' English-language website says the victims are at least 10.

Clashes between suspected members of the Shia Lebanese group Hezbollah and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The south-east was most affected, with scores of protesters injured and eight dead in the largest city Diyarbakir. Demonstrators set up barricades and a number of buildings were left ablaze.

A curfew is currently imposed in a total of 5 provinces with a predominant Kurdish population.

Last week Turkey's Parliament passed a motion allowing troops to intervene in Syria in Iraq to fight IS, but the army has so far engaged only in deployment along the border with the two countries.

Kurdish representatives (including the pro-Kurdish HDP party) immediately criticized the decision, calling it a "pretext" for the Turkish army to act against the PKK's Syria-based units.

Ankara retorted it does not distiguish between the PKK and IS and assured it was committed to action against the Islamist insurgents controlling large chunks of territory in both neighboring states.

The Interior Ministry for its part accused protesters of "betraying their own country".

After the unrest began, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the international community to consider putting its boots on the ground to fight IS.

The US-led alliance, which also includes Arab states, is currently carrying out air strikes against IS targets, but has so far ruled out a land mission on Syria or Iraq's territory.

A total of 9 strikes have been conducted by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since the beginning of this week. 

Meanwhile Canada's Parliament agreed to join the coalition against IS.

Fighting for the city of Kobane, a town near the Syrian-Turkish border and a core part of Syrian Kurdistan, has went on for weeks, with at least 400 dead and thousands of refugees having flocked to Turkey.



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Tags: turkey, Kurds, protests, demonstrations, Islamic state, IS, US, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kobane, Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah, PKK


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