Violent Arrests of Kurdish Leaders Fuel Protests in Turkey

ANKARA (Combined Sources)–Kurdish demonstrators clashed with riot police in Istanbul and southeast Turkey on Saturday and Sunday following violent arrests of Kurdish leaders by Turkish security forces in 11 provinces, from Diyarbakir and neighboring cities to Istanbul and Izmir.  

Turkish security forces last Friday broke into the homes of prominent DTP leaders at 5 am, rounding up and arresting around 60 people, including seven mayors of Kurdish provinces and districts and the human rights association chairperson in Diyarbakir. Prosecutors Friday charged 23 Kurds, including the seven mayors, with ties to a political arm of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The Turkish Dogan news agency reported that police dispersed dozens of protesters in Istanbul’s largely Kurdish Gazi district on Sunday. Police in the southeastern towns of Yuksekova and Hakkari used water canons and tear gas against demonstrators on the second day of violent protests that began after Friday’s crackdown.

10 people were injured during the protests, including two policemen, and a dozen arrested, reported AFP.

The demonstrations follow a week of clashes between Turkish police and Kurdish protesters throughout the country stemming from a mid-December ruling by a Turkish court to outlaw the Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) because of alleged ties to the PKK.  

The DTP closure and the subsequent arrest of Kurdish community leaders has provoked outrage among Turkey’s beleaguered Kurdish population of 30 million.

The closure and the arrests stand in stark contrast to claims by the government that it seeks to reconcile with the minority Kurdish population which has been seeking equal rights for decades.


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  1. Armen said:

    “Turkish security forces last Friday broke into the homes of prominent DTP leaders at 5 am, rounding up and arresting around 60 people, including seven mayors of Kurdish provinces and districts and the human rights association chairperson in Diyarbakir. ” 
    –That sounds so familiar doesn’t it? 

  2. Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD said:

    Today, the Turkish authorities are less violent and less cunning with the righteous Kurds than the Armenian illegal President was with the Armenian people in Yerevan, on 03/01/08.  I hope the heavenly powers will start their righteous work on the Turkish and Armenian authorities in the year of Tiger in accordance to the level of brutality these beasts perform. Two weeks ago, the Turkish Prime Minister named the Armenian illegal President a bear, something the latter had confessed a month before that.

  3. Alex Postallian said:

    I see a revolution in turkey,in the near future.Its payback time for their attrocities they have perpetrated on their minorities for time in memorium.

  4. Turkish Citizen said:

    It would be wrong to label those partial uprisings as revolution. All conscious Kurds as well as Turks know that what those thugs are doing is wrong. This is a sensitive situation,but we believe common sense will prevail at the end. We ( Turks and Kurds) have so much in common, even more than our frictions. The point is media and authorised people solely focus on disagreements and this approach naturally provokes tensions. Possible outcomes should be contemplated by both side, even though a Kurdistan is established, it will be contingent upon Turkeys help, like North Iraqi autonomous region. Without Kirkuk and Mousul what sources can Kurds get income from? I mean without petrol. Kirkuk is still claimed by both Arabs and Kurds.The referendum there has been delayed many times…This issue requires a wider approach and it is hard to estimate what future will hold. What I certainly know is, if Kurds presumably have a separate homeland in the future, they will deeply regret it because of their corrupted leaders. Also it must be regrettable not to be part of Middle East’s most stable and flourished areas, particularly being devoid of Istanbul. I dont mean any disrespect,however you Armenians know well how to empathise with Kurds. Because you are devoid of  Mount Agri (Ararat) and you keep yearning for it. The same is going to happen to Kurds if they insist on secession. This is the reality.

    • Alex Postallian said:

      DENIAL.DENIAL,DENIAL.Its not about oil,self-government,its about cruelty that the turks have perpetrated on their minorities.So the Kurds have had it with the turks,like the Armenians,Greeks,Bulgars.When will the turks,70% illiteracy of their nation ever going to wake up.They have always talked out of both sides of their mouth at the same time. Nobody needs or wants turkey,They want freedom,treated like human beings,not like animals. So quit lying,we have had enough of your bull—-.

  5. John K. said:

    History repeats itself.  They did the same thing on 24 April, 1915.  They arrested around 300 Armenian leaders and intelectuals and the Genocide followed.  The Kurds were used by the Young Turks to masacre the Armenians.  Now is their turn to be masacred.  Turks have not changed!

  6. Grish Begian said:

    Dear Turkish citizen,
    There are 30 million Kurds living in Turkey, and this is not a joke, until yesterday Turks called Kurds as “mountain Turks” today these people act like Kurds, and they  demands for their “rights”. they have been mislead by “Young Turks” with help of Turkish criminals to slaughter Armenians, in return they have been promised for a  “free Kurdistan”. Armenians are gone and Genocide committed, and nothing happened for Kurds since…believe me they are not stupid, they know and you know what they want. Unfortunately there is no Armenians left in Turkey to fool Kurds again……

  7. Pingback: Violent Arrests of Kurdish Leaders Fuel Protests in Turkey … | armeniatoday

  8. craig said:

    It’s not as easy to “get rid of” 30 million Kurds like they “got rid” of 1,5million Armenians. But we all know that of they could, they would.

  9. katia K. said:

    Dear Turkish Citizen,
    “Because you are devoid of  Mount Agri (Ararat) and you keep yearning for it. The same is going to happen to Kurds if they insist on secession. This is the reality.”  Wow, it is refreshing to finally hear a Turk accept with his own mouth that Turkey has taken over other peoples’ lands.  So if you want your freedom and your land back, you better get ready to be massacred and lose your land forever!  Should we now expect a Kurdish Genocide?  How can Turks be this ungrateful towards the Kurds?  Didn’t the Kurds help the Turks get rid of the Armenians? 
    Your comments could have very well come from your ancestors directly!  At least we agree that your country was founded on other peoples’ lands.  One of those peoples you exterminated.   It is a sad existance for a country to survive holding on to other peoples properties, and lands; rewriting history to erase its crimes, and crushing citizens who demand their rights or bring up the truth (Hrant Dink).  It is a sad existance indeed… because it is a cursed land… a land saturated with the laments, tears, and blood of abused souls who wanted their countries and their freedom back. 
    On the other hand, if Turkey acknowledged its crimes, made reparations, gave some land back, enforced equal human rights to all of its citizens regardless of ethnicity and religion it will have a very good chance to become a Democratic, thriving, modern and powerful country like Germany.  It already has a solid economy… why not have humane policies based on common decency?  Dear Turkish citizen the suggestion you are making will lead you back towards the same path your ancestors took and it actually will not resolve the problem; it will only make matters fester even further.  In contrast, Germany has actually empowered itself by speaking the truth, and has moved on quite admirably.  All German citizens have been given the same rights because “being a German citizen” superseeds ethnicity and religion.  If you keep the Kurds and other minorities happy and safe, and you truly accept them as equal citizens (Democracy!) then they will not have reason to rebel.