“No to terror, yes to brotherhood”. That was the motto at an anti-terror rally in Turkey. Tens of thousands marched through Ankara many carrying Turkish flags and chanting slogans calling for brotherhood between Turks and Kurds.
The organisers stressed it was not a political rally. Many were there to voice their support for the Kurdish community and condemn the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, the PKK.
“We have no option other than to accept our differences as a cultural diversity and live together. Therefore we condemn terrorism and embrace brotherhood. That is why we are here today,” said Settar Aslan who was on the march.
Ozgur Ergun gave his reasons: “I am here for brotherhood. I am here to put an end to these tragedies. Turks and Kurds are brothers. Separatists are the traitors. I wish to see the peace process finalised.”
There have been a series of clashes between the PKK and security forces in which hundreds have been killed since a long-standing ceasefire fell apart in July.
As the march took place, a commander of the militant group speaking to the First news agency, which is close to the organisation, ruled out a unilateral ceasefire.
The PKK, which launched a separatist armed struggle in 1984, is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the European Union.