- Title: TURKEY: Kurdish protesters clash with police in Diyarbakir and Cizre
- Date: 10th October 2010
- Summary: DIYARBAKIR, TURKEY (OCTOBER 09, 2010) (REUTERS) WIDE OF PROTESTERS GATHERING TO PROTEST PKK LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN'S FLEEING SYRIA PROTESTERS HOLDING FLAGS WITH OCALAN'S PICTURE ON IT VARIOUS OF PROTEST UNDERWAY
- Embargoed: 25th October 2010 13:00
- Location: Turkey
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA2M9SISG6J4GDJC7UA9BY6X5ZK
- Story Text: Clashes erupt in southeastern Turkey as thousands of Kurds take to the streets to denounce the anniversary of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan's fleeing Syria.
Thousands of Kurds flocked to the streets of Diyarbakir, largest city in mainly Kurdish southeastern Turkey, on Saturday (October 09) to mark the anniversary of jailed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan's fleeing his safe heaven in Syria.
Clashes erupted during the illegal protests, riot police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowd as the protesters pelted fire crackers and stones at police.
Cizre was another southeastern province where protesters clashed with police. Some of the protesters erected barricades on the streets while police was chasing them. A police officer was injured during the clashes state-run Anatolian news agency reported.
Ocalan was captured in Kenya after he was forced to leave his safe heaven is Syria following Turkish pressure.
Clashes erupted only two weeks after militants in the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) extended a ceasefire with Turkey by one month, a move they said is meant to encourage efforts to end a war that has killed more than 40,000 people.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government has held talks in recent weeks with Turkish Kurdish politicians and Iraqi Kurdish officials, raising expectations it may open a new drive to address Kurdish grievances.
Turkey has in the past rejected the PKK's one-sided ceasefires -- it has declared eight since 1993 -- and continued operations against the group, branded a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and European Union.
The PKK on Aug. 13 resumed a ceasefire after 2-1/2 months of clashes that killed more than 100 Turkish soldiers. The truce now runs until the end of October, when fighting traditionally begins to drop off due to weather conditions. Jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan has encouraged the rebels to extend the truce.
Fighting has been sporadic since 1999 when Turkey captured and jailed Abdullah Ocalan, who still wields influence over the group from his prison cell on an island off the Istanbul coast.
The PKK took up arms in 1984 to carve out an ethnic homeland in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast. It has since scaled back its demands to greater autonomy and Kurdish cultural rights.
It launches cross-border attacks against Turkish targets from a mountainous, remote stretch in Iraq along the border with Iran and Turkey, where an estimated 4,000 guerrillas are based.
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