Fierce clashes took place on the Turkish-Syrian border on Monday (September 22) as security officials fought to prevent a crowd of Kurdish youths from leaving Turkey.
Hundreds responded to calls by Turkey’s Kurdistan Workers’ Party – the PKK – to assist Syrian Kurds in the fight against Islamic State, or ISIL.
Riot police and paramilitary forces detained some protesters, but witnesses say several hundred Turkish Kurds had already crossed the border to assist their Syrian counterparts.
The YPG – the main Kurdish armed group in northern Syria – said it had halted ISIL’s advance east of the predominantly Kurdish town of Ayn al-Arab.
However, fierce fighting is said to continue.
The Turkish government is worried about links between Syrian Kurds and the PKK, and has been slow to join calls for a coalition to fight IS.
Kurdish protesters accuse Ankara of favouring the self-proclaimed caliphate over its own people. Turkey denies this, but Western countries say it’s open-border policy during the three-year Syrian civil war has allowed radical groups to grow in power.