Governors warned to stay ‘sensitive’

Governors warned to stay ‘sensitive’

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Governors warned to stay ‘sensitive’

Güler says the ministry is prepared for tensions at Nevruz. AA photo

In preparation for the upcoming Nevruz protests, a circular has been sent to all governorates calling on officials to act “sensitively,” in order to avoid possible confrontations, Interior Minister Muammer Güler said yesterday.

Güler said all precautions had been taken by his ministry and that the applications for celebrations to mark the Kurdish New Year were being filed to governorates.

“This year, we are making an arrangement that will - as far as possible - prevent trouble, hostility, violent actions and actions by terrorist organizations using Nevruz for the purposes of propaganda with posters, placards and slogans,” he said, adding that this arrangement would also enable them to detect tensions.

“A circular has been sent to the governorates saying ‘Be sensitive on this issue, review your precautions and do not allow any negativity,’” he said, while also indicating that large provinces that witnessed troubled Nevruz demonstrations in the past would be subject to heightened precautions.

Events to mark the Kurdish New Year generally take place during the period from March 17 to 21. Last year, authorities banned Nevruz celebrations until March 21. In the run-up to Nevruz, police used water cannon, tear gas and baton charges to break up demonstrations and one local politician died in the protests. Thousands gathered just outside Diyarbakır, holding up portraits of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).