Turkey: Clashes as police break up Kurd protest air strike on civilians

Turkey: Clashes as police break up Kurd protest air strike on civilians

Turkish riot police in Istanbul. Photo: Getty


December 29, 2011

ISTANBUL, — Turkish police used tear gas and water cannon to break up a demonstration in Istanbul by around 2,000 Kurds protesting against an air strike in southeastern Turkey [ northern Kurdistan] that killed 35 Kurdish villagers.

Several hundred youths, many of them with scarves over their faces, threw stones at the police and smashed police and civilian vehicles during the demonstration in the city’s main Taksim Square.

Police responded with water cannon and tear gas grenades and made several arrests.

Demonstrators brandished portraits of those killed in the air strike, which Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party earlier said may have been a blunder. More

35 Kurds killed in Turkish Air Strike
Local Editor
Turkish airstrikes kill 35 Kurds35 people were killed by Turkish air strike on the Iraq border Thursday, in an attack which a pro-Kurdish political party described as a “massacre” of civilians.

Turkey’s military command said it launched an air strike on PKK militants after an intelligence drone spotted a group of people moving toward its sensitive southeastern border under cover of darkness late Wednesday.

The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) confirmed the death toll in a statement, saying that the dead people were among a group of 35 to 40, aged from 16 to 20, who had crossed the border for “smuggling purposes.”

Locals gather in  front of the bodies of people who were killed
in a warplane attack in the Ortasu  village of Uludere,
in the Sirnak province, on December 29, 2011.
 Photo: Getty Images

Meanwhile, local security sources said the group was “smuggling gas and sugar into Turkey from northern Iraq” and may have been “mistaken” for Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists.

The Turkish military began an operation in northern Iraq in October after 24 Turkish troops were killed in an attack by the PKK in the town of Cukurca near the Iraqi border. The army killed 36 PKK members in Kazan Valley of Hakkari province.

Source: Agencies

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