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 Turkish police clash with Kurds marching in solidarity with the political prisoners on hunger strike

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Turkish police clash with Kurds marching in solidarity with the political prisoners on hunger strike  30.10.2012  







 
Kurdish people are taking to the streets Tuesday in solidarity with the political prisoners on hunger strike. Photo: ANF- Firat News Agency.
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Kurdish protesters clashed with police on Tuesday near a prison in the Kurdish region in southeastern Turkey (northern Kurdistan) where some inmates are on a hunger strike. Photo: ANF- Firat News Agency.   
October 30, 2012

AMED/DIYARBAKIR, Turkey's Kurdish region,— Kurdish protesters clashed with police on Tuesday near a prison in the Kurdish region in southeastern Turkey (northern Kurdistan) where some inmates are on a hunger strike, witnesses said.

Several thousand people joined a protest march to a prison in the city of Diyarbakir, and police used tear gas and water cannon to drive back groups of demonstrators who threw stones and firebombs from side streets. Shops were shuttered and many families did not send their children to school in line with calls for a boycott.

Turkey's Anadolu news agency also reported a clash between a group of Kurdish protesters in Istanbul. There was no report of any casualties.

Hundreds of Kurdish prisoners in dozens of Turkish jails are on a hunger strike to demand increased rights for Kurds and improved jail conditions for Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is being held on an island near Istanbul. Most of the prisoners are jailed for alleged links to the rebels, who are deemed terrorists by Turkey and its Western allies.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says rebels are orchestrating the hunger strike and that the government will not bow to blackmail. The government has sought to reconcile with disaffected members of Turkey's Kurdish minority, but activists who seek autonomy in the mostly Kurdish southeast and say state concessions have not gone far enough.

Kurdish people are taking to the streets Tuesday in solidarity with the political prisoners on hunger strike

Demonstrations and marches are being staged Tuesday in all Kurdish cities and many others with Kurdish population on the 49th day of the hunger strike by Kurdish political prisoners. The Peace and Democracy (BDP) had declared 30 October as "day of resistance" and called on all Kurdish people to bring life in the country to a standstill and to join actions in support of prisoners on hunger strike.

AMED/DIYARBAKIR: Life has been brought to a standstill in the main Kurdish city Diyarbakır where almost all shopkeepers have taken down the shutters, mass transportation vehicles don’t provide service, municipality employees not at work and students boycotting schools. Mass marches are expected in the city in the afternoon when also the BDP is planning to hold its weekly meeting in front of Diyarbakır E Type Prison where BDP member politicians are staging a hunger strike for 49 days. Although the Governor of Diyarbakır denied permission for the group meeting there,www.ekurd.net BDP co-chairs say they are determined to hold the meeting in front of the prison. As thousands of people have already gathered in areas to march to the prison, police forces have intensely surrounded the prison with TOMA (riot control) vehicles and blocked all the ways to the prison. The mass in the district of Bağlar was severely attacked when they wanted to continue their march to the prison.

ŞIRNAK: Thousands of people were attacked by police when they started a march in response to BDP’s call for “mass resistance” on the 49th day of the hunger strike by Kurdish political prisoners. The city has turned into battlefield as people didn’t stop their march despite the brutal police attack with intense tear gas. Clashes have expanded to all neighborhoods in the city.

HAKKARİ: Tens of thousands of people have started a march in Hakkari’s Yüksekova district. The march will be followed by a press conference.

VAN: Thousands of people led by BDP Van provincial organization started a march to F Type Prison where Mayor Bekir Kaya, BDP former provincial chair Cüneyt Caniş, Edremit Mayor Abdulkerim Sayan and 15 other politicians are joining the strike. The city is witnessing the greatest protest action so far as no service is provided by shops and mass transport vehicles and schools are boycotted by students.

ISTANBUL: A number of people have gathered at the Okmeydanı which has been surrounded by police forces with panzers and riot control vehicles. The demonstration is also joined by BDP Istanbul MP Sebahat Tuncel and BDP provincial co-chairs Asiye Kolçak and Ali Rıza Bilgili.

MARDİN: Hundreds of people in Mardin’s Nusaybin district were attacked by police when they started a march to the Newroz Square. A person named Burhan Bilgiç was severely wounded when a tear gas hit him on the eye. Clashes between demonstrators and police continue.

KIZILTEPE: Police attacked the hunger strike tent at Mehmet Sincar Park early in the morning. The people were attacked with gas bombs and the tent was seized by police.

MERSİN: Shops have been closed in all densely Kurdish populated districts of the southern province of Mersin where students also boycotted schools in support to the “mass resistance”. Marches are expected in many neighborhoods in the afternoon. Demonstrators will leave a black wreath in front of the AKP building.

CUKUROVA: The Kurdish people in Cukurova region are also supporting the "mass resistance" with press conferences, marches and sit-in actions. Mass demonstrations are expected in Adana, Ceyhan, Dörtyol, Tarsus and İskenderun in the afternoon.

Copyright © respective author or news agency, AP | firatnews.com 

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