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.
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
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
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
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
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
author or news agency, DPA | AFP | Agencies