VIDEO: Turkish soldiers confront politicians on border as Syria tensions rise
Aysel Tuğluk was photographed throwing a stone at Turkish soldiers in Suruç, Sept. 22. DHA PhotoAs the number of Syrian Kurdish refugees fleeing the advancing militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) rises, Turkish security forces also find themselves in confrontations on the border with pro-Kurdish politicians.
Aysel Tuğluk, an independent deputy from Van, stirred controversy after she was photographed while throwing a stone at Turkish soldiers in Suruç, a border town in the province of Şanlıurfa, on Sept. 22.
“Soldiers and the police have been intervening for the past three days. A tear gas cartridge fell down near my feet. So I responded with stones to defend myself,” she said.
Turkish security forces were trying to regulate the inflow of Syrian Kurdish refugees when a group attempted to cross from Turkey to Syria to help in the defense of the town of Kobane against ISIL. The confrontation resulted in a clash and security forces resorted to tear gas and water cannons to disperse the group.
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç accused Tuğluk of “staging a show” on the border. “The state cannot tolerate illegal crossings,” he said.
Attempts to use the symbols of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were one of the causes of the heightened tensions between the politicians and security forces in the border town on Sept. 22. The symbols were used in a tent, which was erected by the locals for solidarity with Kobane, and was later taken down by Turkish authorities.
Diyarbakır Co-Mayor Gülten Kışanak argued with a military officer at the site, saying “Your state promised [to not remove the tent].”
The officer replied, “Your state? If this is my state, then get out of my territory,” to which Kışanak responded: “What territory? This is not your father’s property. How can you speak like that?”