May Day protests have gone ahead in Turkey despite major political repression. While at least 164 people were arrested in Istanbul, thousands gathered elsewhere in the city to issue demands for political reform. A major rally also took place in the country’s largest Kurdish-majority city, Diyarbakir.
Tensions continue to rise in the Yazidi homeland of Sinjar, where members of autonomous Yazidi military units have spoken out to say they will stand up against federal Iraqi forces who have recently sent reinforcements to the region in the context of ongoing unrest. Two western journalists have been arrested while reporting on the Yazidi issue in the region, and are being held incommunicado in Baghadad.
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