Extraordinary curfew in Diyarbakır lifted

Extraordinary curfew in Diyarbakır lifted

Extraordinary curfew in Diyarbakır lifted

Turkish soldiers stand guard on a main street in Diyarbakır, Oct. 9. REUTERS Photo / Osman Orsal

The curfew declared after the recent wave of deadly protests in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır has been lifted, a Turkish official has announced.

Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker, a member of Parliament from Diyarbakır, announced the decision during a press conference in the city on Oct. 9, thanking locals who did not violate the curfew until public order was restored.

The curfew, the first to be imposed in many years, was declared on Oct. 8 after more than 20 people were killed during protests condemning the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants’ assault on the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane. It was then extended to Oct. 9.

“Our security forces did their job despite all provocations,” Eker said.

According to figures given by the minister, 124 buildings were attacked in Diyarbakır, including 14 public buildings, 15 banks, five party buildings, and 34 schools. Meanwhile, 27 private cars and 20 official cars were destroyed.

“There were also incidents of looting. For instance, eight computers and four printers at the Agriculture Directorate were stolen. Supermarkets and a post office were also looted,” Eker said.

Ten of the killings during the violent Oct. 7 protests took place in Diyarbakır, where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) supporters clashed with supporters of Hizbullah, a radical Islamist group, most of whose members are Kurdish.

Some 116 people were detained in Diyarbakır and 294 others will be sanctioned for violating the curfew, Eker also said.