Kurdish Tensions Run High; Turk Nationalists Beat Kurd Protestor

(Combined Sources)–Turkish nationalists beat a Kurdish protester in Istanbul, Turkey on Sunday, March 11 and used pepper spray to disperse about 150 stone-throwing Kurdish rioters in an Istanbul neighborhood. The developmen’s are ahead of the anniversary of the 1995 killing of dozens of protesters at a time when tensions are already running high in some Istanbul suburbs following allegations by Abdullah Ocalan’s lawyers that the Kurdish rebel leader was poisoned in prison. Meanwhile a Kurdish separatist group claimed responsibility for several bomb attacks on tourist sites in Turkey in recent years, and warned European tourists to stay away. In their warning, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons cited the arrests of 15 suspected Kurdish terrorists in France and Belgium, and threatened to strike tourists and tourist facilities in Turkey. They blame European countries for helping Turkey repress Kurds. The group’s deadliest attack killed five people in the Aegean resort of Kusadasi in 2005.

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