Tags: Turkey | Kurds | Syria | Iraq | conflict

Turkish President Vows Crackdown on Pro-Kurd Protests

Sunday, 12 October 2014 11:55 AM EDT

Turkey's government will seek new powers to crack down on violent demonstrations, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday, after dozens died in a wave of Kurdish-led protests over Ankara's policies in Syria.

"The Republic of Turkey would not be a state if it were not able to control a few thugs," Erdogan said in a speech in the northeastern town of Bayburt. "They may burn, but they will pay the price. We will go further," he said.

Speaking Saturday night in the neighbouring town of Rize, the president called for a bill to be brought before parliament in the coming week aimed at "clearing these vandals from the streets".

Thousands of Kurds have taken to the streets in anger that Turkey has not intervened to defend the mainly Kurdish Syrian border town of Kobane from Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

Three police were injured in a new clashes overnight Saturday to Sunday in southeastern town of Silopi, the Dogan news agency reported, although elsewhere the protests had simmered down.

According to official figures released on Friday the four days of violence left 31 dead and 360 wounded. At least three more people have since died in hospital, according to media reports, taking the toll to 34.

Some of the deadly violence involved clashes between young supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Islamist and nationalist activists.

Cemil Bayik, one of the founders of the PKK which has waged a bloody 30-year insurgency for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey, has warned the two-year-old peace process with Ankara is in danger of collapse after the deadly unrest.

On Sunday Erdogan called on parents to "stop children from taking to the streets" in support of the "terrorist" PKK.



© AFP 2024

Turkey, Kurds, Syria, Iraq, conflict
Sunday, 12 October 2014 11:55 AM
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