- Title: Kurds in Paris march against Turkish government arrests
- Date: 5th November 2016
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (NOVEMBER 4, 2016) (REUTERS) PROTESTERS GATHERED AT PLACE DE LA REPUBLIQUE PROTESTER HOLDING SIGH READING (French): "IN TURKEY, DEMOCRACY SAYS: 'EUROPE, YOUR SILENCE KILLS ME!'" / PROTESTERS CHEERING PROTESTER HOLDING SIGN READING (French): "ERDOGAN KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF!" VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS HOLDING FLAGS AND PICTURES OF IMPRISONED KURDISH FIGURES PROTESTERS HOLDING LONG KURDISH FLAG (SOUNDBITE) (French) KURDISH PROTESTER, EMILIE, SAYING: "Yes we are here because in Turkey they imprison our Kurdish lawmakers who represent the Kurdish people and we don't agree with that. We will never agree with that. The Kurdish people are on their feet." PROTESTERS GATHERED HOLDING FLAGS AND SIGNS READING (French): "DON'T TOUCH MY ELECTED OFFICIALS" (SOUNDBITE) (French) KURDISH PROTESTER, YUKSEL TAGIM, SAYING: "We're here because we want them to free the HDP (pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party) officials, to get rid of their army in Kurdistan, that they leave television, newspapers and writers alone. They must be freed." PRO-KURDISH OPPOSITION PEOPLES' DEMOCRATIC PARTY (HDP) REPRESENTATIVE IN FRANCE, ISMAIL CAKICI, SPEAKING TO CROWD VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS CLAPPING AND CHEERING (SOUNDBITE) (French) KURDISH REPRESENTATIVE IN FRANCE, ISMAIL CAKICI, SAYING: "Yes, we are gathered to show everyone, especially Europeans what we want, what is happening in Turkey and get them to stop helping Turkey continue in their anti-democratic activities." PROTESTERS HOLDING FLAGS PROTESTERS STANDING ON PLACE DE LA REPUBLIQUE STATUE AND WAVING KURDISH FLAGS PROTESTERS CHEERING PROTESTER HOLDING BANNER READING (French): "STOP ERDOGAN! DON'T TOUCH OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS! TURKEY GET OUT OF ROJAVA, OUT OF KURDISTAN!" PROTESTERS BEGINNING TO MARCH PROTESTERS MARCHING WITH BANNER READING (French): "FREEDOM FOR OUR HDP OFFICIALS" PROTESTERS CHANTING AND WAVING LONG KURDISH FLAG VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS MARCHING AND CHANTING
- Embargoed: 20th November 2016 16:24
- Keywords: Turkey Kurds Peoples' Democratic Party HDP protest Paris France Selahattin Demirtas Figen Yuksekdag
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Fundamental Rights/Civil Liberties,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0015762N9J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: About 2,000 Kurds and pro-Kurdish supporters peacefully gathered in Paris on Saturday (November 5) protesting against the Turkish government following the arrests of leading Kurdish politicians.
The leaders of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) were jailed pending trial on Friday (November 4) as part of a terrorism investigation, drawing condemnation in the West of a crackdown on dissent under President Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkish authorities also detained nine officials from the country's main pro-Kurdish opposition party on Saturday, a party official said, a day after the formal arrests of HDP co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag.
In Paris, demonstrators gathered at Place de la Republique holding up anti-Erdogan signs and unfurling large Kurdish flags.
"Yes we are here because in Turkey they imprison our Kurdish lawmakers who represent the Kurdish people and we don't agree with that. We will never agree with that. The Kurdish people are on their feet," said Kurdish protester Emilie.
The HDP, Turkey's third-largest party, made history last year by becoming the first Kurdish-rooted party to win the 10 percent of the vote required to enter parliament.
European officials have raised concerns about Turkey's detention or suspension of more than 110,000 officials in the wake of the failed putsch in July, including judges, teachers, police and civil servants.
Some 170 newspapers, magazines, TV stations and news agencies have been closed in the crackdown, leaving 2,500 journalists unemployed, Turkey's journalists' association has said.
"We are gathered to show everyone, especially Europeans what we want, what is happening in Turkey and get them to stop helping Turkey continue in their anti-democratic activities," said Kurdish representative in France Ismail Cakici.
Erdogan and the ruling AK Party accuse the HDP of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has carried out a violent insurgency in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast for three decades. The HDP denies direct links and says it is working for a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish conflict.
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