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Turkish police battle with Kurdish protestors

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Turkish police battle with Kurdish protestors


In Turkey, police have clashed with demonstrators as they marked the 10th anniversary of the capture of a Kurdish separatist leader.

The crowd threw stones and the police used tear gas and water cannon in running battles which left dozens injured from both sides. Scores of people were arrested. There were demonstrations right across the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey. The biggest was in Diyarbakir, the region’s largest city. There were also clashes in Istanbul. The crowds were angry about the life imprisonment of Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Their protest in Diyarbakir started outside the headquarters of the Democratic Society Party (DTP), the only legal Kurdish political group, which is facing a court ban from Turkey’s parliament for alleged ties to the PKK. The DTP wants a negotiated settlement with the PKK and an amnesty for some of its leaders. The European Union, which Turkey is seeking to join, has criticised the court case against the DTP, arguing Kurds should have political representation in parliament. As part of its bid to join the EU, Ankara has promised Brussels it will increase rights for its estimated 15 million Kurds who make up 20 percent of the Turkish population.

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