‘Diyarbakır police department, Diyarbakır governor, stay away from provocation’ the voice cried from the stage in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakır (Amed) on Monday, as tens of thousands of people waited in anticipation for the Newroz celebrations to begin.
They listened to a recording of the Kurdish musician Aynur Doğan playing in the background, and waved their colourful flags.
They chanted in Kurdish, ‘Jin, jiyan, azadi’ (‘Women, life, freedom’)
They had managed to enter the celebration area after the police tried to stop them by attacking people with water cannons from armoured vehicles and with tear gas and pepper spray, or to slow them down with long body searches.
As Diyarbakır Newroz celebrations has always been of a particular importance among all Newroz events in Turkey, a large number of journalists from various news outlets are reporting. While the hotels in the city is almost full because of the Newroz celebrations, with a total number of 189 journalists who have been accredited.
Over 100 political figures, writers, intellectuals and academics from at least 15 countries are in Diyarbakır to attend the celebrations.
Live Webcast on Mezopotamya News Agency.
TO BE UPDATED