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Friday, February 18, 2011

Video of Kurdish riots in SE Turkey

Reuters has published video footage from the clashes between Kurdish demonstrators and police in several provinces. The video shows demonstrators throwing molotov cocktails on armored police vehicles, and police deploying water cannons and tear gas to disperse demonstrators.

Hürriyet Daily News reports that protests occurred in 12 provinces, including Diyarbakır, Şanlıurfa, Şırnak and Mardin, the southern provinces of Mersin and Antalya, as well as in Istanbul. There are no reports of injuries but 30 protestors were detained, according to the Daily News.

The protests come at the anniversary of the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan's capture in Kenya on February 15, 1999. (BTW, the voice-over in the video calls him "Abdullah Atalan"... Reuters really ought to get the name of someone that important to their story right.) But the rioters are in all likelihood also inspired by the wide-spread protests in North Africa and the Middle East. The question is if this changed regional context will spell the beginning of more lengthy Kurdish protests across the country.

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