Turkish forces fire on protest in southeast, one dead

 29 Jun 2013 - 2:16


Smokes rises from a military station as people run away during clashes with Turkish security forces yesterday.

DIYARBAKIR: Turkish security forces killed one person and wounded six yeserday when they fired on a group protesting against the construction of a new gendarmerie outpost in Kurdish-dominated southeastern Turkey, officials said.

The incident appeared to be the most violent in the region since a ceasefire declaration by Kurdish militant chief Abdullah Ocalan in March that led to a virtual standstill in the conflict between his Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Turkish state.

Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party called earlier in the day for marches in three major cities this weekend to launch a summer of protests aimed at raising pressure on Ankara to carry out reforms under a peace process with the PKK.

The shooting, which occurred in the village of Kayacik in the Lice district of Diyarbakir province, was likely to stoke tension among the weekend marchers, although leaders stressed the rallies would be peaceful.

Diyarbakir Governor Cahit Kirac said around 200 protesters marched on Friday onto the construction site where the outpost was being built to replace an existing one, with some throwing petrol bombs and setting fire to workers’ tents.

“At this point, the soldiers fired warning shots and a riot broke out. There were then reports of one person being killed and six people being wounded, two of them seriously. These reports are not confirmed, we are investigating,” Kirac said.