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 Turkey: Hundreds of Kurds protest killing of alleged PKK rebels

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Turkey: Hundreds of Kurds protest killing of alleged PKK rebels  31.12.2011    






Photo: Getty
December 31, 2011

DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish region of Turkey, — Hundreds of Kurds on Saturday protested against the killing of two Kurdish youngster allegedly were Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey in a shootout with the police who attacked their hideout.

The protestors demonstrated near where the two suspected members of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) died in a gun battle with the police early Saturday in Diyarbakir city.

The crowd chanted slogans and threw stones at the police, who responded with water cannon and tear gas grenades and made several arrests.

Ten demonstrators were detained, according to eyewitnesses.

One protestor was injured and immediately taken to hospital, said an AFP reporter at the scene,www.ekurd.net who was warned by police not to talk to the demonstrators.

According to reports coming through two young people have been killed by police in Diyarbakir, in the Kayapınar area. Earlier independent reports said that during a house raid by police a clash broke out and two wounded people threw themselves or were thrown out from the building, ANF News agency reported.

It is now claimed by eyewitnesses that in fact the two boys have been shot on the street by the police.

The governor of the city has told the press that two people died as a result of an armed clash.

Eyewitnesses contradict this version of events and claim that the two youngster have been shot on the street and no clash was lived.

BDP, İHD (Human Rights Association), Mazkum-Der and Diyarbakir lawyers are on the scene.

As circumstances of the death of two boys remain uncleared, new witnesses say the boys were shot by plain clothes policemen. Also people in the building say police have taken all the mobile phones in the building.

Tensions are running high in the region after a botched Turkish air strike killed 35 Kurdish civilians, prompting the PKK to issue a call for an "uprising."

Turkey's military command said it carried out the air strike after a spy drone spotted a group moving toward its sensitive southeastern border under cover of darkness late Wednesday, in an area known to be used by militants.

But Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan admitted Friday that the victims were smugglers and not separatist rebels as the army had originally claimed.

Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been fighting the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a Kurdish state in the south east of the country, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous Kurdish region and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey, numbering more than 20 million. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees, lifting the ban on education in Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey, reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action against the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish constitution.

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.

The PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union's terror list. 

Copyright © 2011, respective author or news agency, AFP | firatnews.com | ekurd.net | Agencies
 

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