Protests against Turkey in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region turned violent on Sunday (Feb.7) as demonstrators called for the United Nations to intervene in what they described as Turkey’s “genocide” against the Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK. Three police officers were wounded in scuffles.
PKK supporter Youssef Hamid explained why he was protesting:
“The goal of this demonstration is to tell the public and all the foreign NGOs about the Turkish attacks in Syria, Turkey and Iraq. All these attacks are targeting Kurdish people and they`re denying the existence of Kurdistan.”
Scores of PKK rebels killed
More than 700 PKK rebels have been reportedly killed in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast region in the towns of Cizre and Sur since a security operation by Turkish forces began in December. The group which has waged a decades-long insurgency against Ankara has also had its bases in northern Iraq.
Turkey’s interior minister claims that 99.5 percent of all the “terrorists nested in Cizre are about to be eliminated”. Many neighborhoods of Diyarbakır’s central Sur district have been under curfew since Dec. 2, 2015, while the curfew was imposed in Silopi and Cizre on Dec. 14.