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 Kurd detained after throwing shoe at Turkey's Erdogan in Spain

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Kurd detained after throwing shoe at Turkey's Erdogan in Spain  23.2.2010  

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A Syrian man of Kurdish origin has been detained in Spain after throwing a shoe at Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the southern city of Seville.
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan dodges a shoe in Seville, Spain.
February 23, 2010

SEVILLE, Spain,— A Syrian man of Kurdish origin has been detained in Spain after throwing a shoe at Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the southern city of Seville, police sources said overnight. Erdogan was getting into a car after receiving a cultural cooperation award at the city hall late Monday.

The 27-year-old man hurled a shoe at the prime minister, shouting the name of Kurdistan, "Viva Kurdistan", "Long live free Kurdistan”.

The shoe hit Erdogan's car instead of the premier, and was picked up by his bodyguards.
 

The Syrian national had been living for at least a year in Seville, where the authorities were due to decide whether to expel him or legalize his situation, according to police sources.

The man could now be charged with attacking a head of state and with resisting police.

Another person was also detained at the hotel where Erdogan was staying on charges of calling the premier a murderer and shouting: "Free Kurdistan!"

The man was identified and later released. He was of Kurdish origin and was believed to know the man who threw the shoe.

Erdogan arrived in Seville from Madrid, where he held talks with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Monday.

The shoe attack coincided with the arrests in Turkey of 49 people in connection with a plot to overthrow the government.   

In December 2008, an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at then president George W. Bush at a press conference during the US leader's final visit to Iraq, protesting the six-year-old occupation with a cry of: "This is the farewell kiss you dog."  

The 30-year-old man, considered a hero by many in the Arab world, was jailed for nine months.

 

The Kurds demanded Turkey's recognition of the Kurds' identity in its constitution and of their language as a native language along with Turkish in the country's Kurdish areas,www.ekurd.net the party also demanded an end to ethnic discrimination in Turkish laws and constitution against Kurds, ranting them full political freedoms.

Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish language and private Kurdish language courses with the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish politicians say the measures fall short of their expectations.

Last August, the government announced plans to expand Kurdish freedoms in a bid to erode popular support for the PKK and end the insurgency.

Although the drive faltered amid a ban on the country's main Kurdish DTP party, street protests and PKK violence, Ankara has vowed to push ahead with the reforms.

Copyright, respective author or news agency, DPA | AFP | Agencies

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