News ID: 3044
Published: 0428 GMT October 08, 2014

Deadly protests against Turkey’s inaction vis-à-vis ISIL

Deadly protests against Turkey’s inaction vis-à-vis ISIL

At least 19 people were reported killed in riots across Turkey, the deadliest street unrest in years, after the Kurdish minority rose up in fury at the government's refusal to protect a besieged Syrian town from terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group.

Street battles raged between Kurdish protesters and police across Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, as the fallout from war in Syria and Iraq threatened to unravel the NATO member's own delicate peace process, Reuters reported.

There were also clashes in the commercial hub Istanbul and capital Ankara.

Across the frontier, US-led airstrikes appeared to have pushed the ISIL terrorists back to the edges of the Syrian Kurdish border town of Kobani, which the terrorists have been poised to capture this week after a three-week siege.

Washington said its war planes, along with those of coalition ally the United Arab Emirates, had struck nine targets in Syria, including six near Kobani that hit ISIL artillery and armored vehicles.

It also struck Iraq five times. Nevertheless, Kobani remained under intense bombardment from ISIL positions within sight of Turkish tanks that have so far done nothing to help.

US officials were quoted expressing impatience with the Turks for refusing to join the military coalition against ISIL who have seized much of Syria and Iraq.

Turkey says it could join, but only if Washington agrees to use force against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as against the terrorists fighting against him.

Turkey's own Kurds say President Tayyip Erdogan is stalling while their brethren are killed in Kobani. Police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse demonstrators who burnt cars and tires. Authorities imposed curfews in at least five provinces, the first time such measures have been used widely since the early 1990s, local media said.

Ten people died in clashes in Diyarbakir, the largest Kurdish city in Turkey's southeast, according to Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker. In live televised comments, he said an all-day curfew imposed in the city from Tuesday night would be reviewed on Wednesday. Pockets of protesters defying the curfew clashed with security forces there later on Wednesday, local media reported. Others died in clashes between protesters and police in the eastern provinces of Mus, Siirt and Batman. DHA news agency reported a death toll of 19 from two days of clashes.

The Istanbul governor's office reported 30 people wounded, including eight police officers, and 98 people detained in "illegal protests" in Turkey's biggest city. Unrest spread to other countries with Kurdish and Turkish populations. Police in Germany said 14 people were hurt in clashes there between Kurds and Salafists. The advance by the ISIL terrorists in northern Syria drove 180,000 of the area's mostly Kurdish inhabitants to flee into adjoining Turkey.


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