Police, demonstrators clash in southeastern Turkey as tension climbs
Police used pressurized water cannon and tear gas to disperse 100 demonstrators who responded by burning tires and throwing stones and Molotov cocktails in Yüksekova. DHA photo
Clashes between protestors and police officers entered their second day yesterday in the eastern province of Hakkari’s Yüksekova district following a recent escalation of violence between security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Police used pressurized water cannon and tear gas to disperse 100 demonstrators who responded by burning tires and throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the law enforcement officials on Cengiz Topel Avenue in central Yüksekova.
Some 20,000 people attended funeral ceremonies on Nov. 7 for Aynur Kırbaş and Reşat Aslan, who were among the 37 PKK militants killed by the Turkish military during a recent operation in Hakkari’s Kazan Valley in the Çukurca district. The bodies of the two were brought to Yüksekova and buried in the Akalın Cemetery, three kilometers away from the district center.
Some of those who attended the funeral then initiated protests after returning to the district center, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at law enforcement officials who responded with pressurized water and tear gas.
Meanwhile, Gültan Kışanak, the co-chair of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP,) which is primarily focused on the Kurdish issue, indicated that her party was going to discuss whether to withdraw from the ongoing work of framing a new constitution and from Parliament in response to developments in the southeast.
Duran Kalkan, who is a member of the legislative council of the outlawed Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), said the timing and circumstances of withdrawing from mainstream Turkish politics would have to be carefully considered as it would otherwise serve the purposes of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The current Parliament would lose its democratic legitimacy if the BDP withdrew from it, leading to more violence, as well as greater separation between Kurds and Turks, Kalkan said in daily Özgür Politika, which has alleged links to the PKK.
The proposal will be discussed on Nov. 11 at a meeting that will be attended by all the BDP’s provincial heads, mayors and party council members, according to reports.
The KCK is the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.
Compiled from Doğan news agency and daily Özgür Politika stories by the Daily News staff in Istanbul.