AFP
Last updated: 8 October, 2014

At least nine dead and several injured in Kurdish protests in Turkey

At least 14 people were killed in violent protests by pro-Kurdish demonstrators in southeast Turkey angry at the government’s lack of action against jihadists in Syria, officials said on Wednesday.

Eight of the deaths came in Turkey’s main Kurdish city of Diyarbakir where the most intense rioting took place overnight Tuesday to Wednesday, a local security official told AFP.

The clashes with police caused extensive damage in the city with shop fronts burned-out and buses set on fire.

The other deaths were reported in violent protests in Mardin, Siirt, Batman and Mus, all cities in the southeast of Turkey.

In a measure unprecedented in the last years, the Turkish army has deployed in the streets of the cities of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van to impose a curfew.

Schools were closed in Diyarbakir and fights were cancelled, reports said. The protests had first broken out on Monday night but Tuesday’s clashes were more severe.

Police also used tear gas and water cannon to disperse angry pro-Kurdish protests in Istanbul and Ankara.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has so far not intervened militarily against Islamic State (IS) jihadists fighting for the majority-Kurdish border town of Kobane, to the fury of Turkey’s Kurds.