In Turkey’s majority Kurdish town of Kızıltepe (Qoser), police in armoured vehicles intervened with rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon against crowds leaving the Newroz (spring festival, highly symbolic for the Kurds) demonstration there on Saturday. Groups of youths responded by throwing stones at the armoured vehicles, Mezopotamya News Agency reported.
Five demonstrators were detained.
Thousands of people attended the Newroz demonstration in the town. They continued to chant slogans as they marched in a loose formation back from the demonstration area to the town centre after the event.
An avenue was blocked for a while by the crowd, who chanted slogans, ‘Bijî Serok Apo’* (‘Long live Apo’) and ‘Bê serok jiyan nabe’ (‘No life without our leader’).
Two separate columns of demonstrators were later intercepted by the police at two different spots. The crowd refused to disperse, continuing to march, and were attacked by police in armoured vehicles who used water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas.
While no demonstrator has yet been reported injured, at least five were detained by the police.
* Apo: An affectionate name for Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK)