Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring festival interrupted by water cannons and teargas

On Saturday, over 100 Kurdish demonstrators and 10 Turkish policemen were injured during a raid on the Kurdish spring festival in Diyarbakir, Turkey reported Reuters on the same day.

Turkish police broke up the Newroz festival, the Kurdish New Year celebration, because demonstrators were “shouting slogans supporting the banned separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)” reported the article. The police claim that the celebrations were not authorized by the government and were organized by the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), which is prohibited in Turkey.

Across Turkey, participants in the Newroz celebrations were detained and arrested for their involvement as well. The article states “Turkish police firing water cannons, teargas and wielding batons clashed with demonstrators in the streets.”

High tensions exist between the Turkish government and the PKK, who represent the Kurdish ethnic minority in Turkey. Clashes occur regularly, particularly during Newroz.

For the full article, click here.


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