Turkey: thousands gather for peace rally in Istanbul

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By Euronews
Turkey: thousands gather for peace rally in Istanbul

Thousands of people have attended a peace rally in the centre of Istanbul.

The event was organised by the Peace Bloc, a group of around 80 Turkish civil society organisations, to mark the killing of 32 aid workers in a suicide bombing in the town of Suruç – and to call for peace in their name.

Those gathered heard a warning about a return to the 1990s era of deadly fighting between the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, and the Turkish Army.

“People want peace,” Selahattin Demirtaş, the Chairman of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party or HDP. “The PKK have declared they also want peace. They declare they are ready for talks with the Prime Minister in his own office. But now the government says: “No, we will go to war no matter what.”

There has been a surge in violence between the PKK and Turkish government forces since the Suruç attack, threatening the fragile peace process.

Dozens have been killed and scores injured on both sides in a series of attacks along Turkey’s border with Syria and Iraq.