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 Turkish policeman dies a day after being shot during Newroz clashes

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Turkish policeman dies a day after being shot during Newroz clashes  21.3.2012  








A Turkish riot policeman uses tear gas to disperse Kurdish protesters during the Kurdish New Year (Newroz) celebration in Istanbul, on March 18,2012. Thousands of Kurds clashed with police in Istanbul. Turkey which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority. Kurds ask for more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey, numbering more than 20 million. Kurds call for lifting the ban on education in Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels. Photo: Getty Images. See Related Links
March 21, 2012

DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish region of Turkey, — A Turkish police officer died Wednesday after being shot in clashes as police tried to disperse Kurds staging unauthorized New Kurdish Year's celebrations, a security source said.

The officer was among 24 people who were injured on Tuesday in clashes that erupted across Kurdish-majority southeast when riot police fired water cannon and tear gas in an attempt to disperse the unauthorized demonstrations.

The officer, along with four other officers and a civilian, was wounded in the Kurdish town of Cizre in Sirnak province on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan region, the source said.

Three other officers were also shot in Yuksekova town of Hakkari, another border province mostly populated by the ethnic minority.

Turkish authorities rejected a Kurdish demand to mark Newroz on Sunday, the day of rest in Turkey,www.ekurd.net designating Wednesday as the only day authorized for New Year celebrations.

On Sunday, thousands of Kurds clashed with police in Istanbul and the southern city of Diyarbakir, leaving nine people injured as security forces tried to stop festivities.

Newroz celebrations are an opportunity for the Kurdish community to demand more rights and to show support for the outlaw Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The bloodiest Newroz in Turkey occurred in 1992, when some 50 people were killed in clashes with security forces in the Kurdish-majority southeast.

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 ©, respective author or news agency, AFP | ekurd.net | Agencies


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