|Four killed as tensions rise in Turkey.|
Four civilians have been killed and an estimated 500 wounded or detained, as violence spirals between Turkish authorities and civilians in Diyarbakir, Siirt and other Kurdish cities.
The situation in Diyarbakir is most volatile, having now been completely occupied by gendarme and police officers, who called in reinforcements from paramilitary and special commando forces. However, the violence has already spread to most other Kurdish provinces.
Four civilians are known to have been shot dead as Turkish security forces opened fire and used tear gas and truncheons on protestors. These included Abdullah Duran (9-years-old), Tarik Akkaya (20-years-old), Mehmet Isik (20-years-old) and Tarik Atakkaya (23-years-old), all believed to be of Kurdish origin. The shooting of a fifth civilian, Muhlis Ete (16-years-old), left him in critical condition in hospital yesterday.
An unknown number of civilians were taken into detention by police officers following early morning raids on their family homes today. There is grave concern for their welfare, including Nurettin Demirtas and Cihan Deniz, and another 250 detained at protests yesterday. Reports of the use of torture or ill-treatment in custody in fact increased during 2005 compared with previous years. There is also concern for human rights defenders in the region. Osman Baydemir, a well-known defender of Kurdish human rights and Mayor of Diyarbakir, has experienced harassment, during which his driver and car were attacked.
The funerals of four pro-Kurdish guerrilla fighters, which attracted thousands of mourners in Diyarbakir and Siirt, proved to be a flashpoint for the unrest; however tension has increased continuously since 2004.
Kurdish Human Rights Project is concerned at the escalating violence and has requested the international community’s urgent intervention. It is a chilling reminder of the violence which marred the region during the 1980s and 1990s.
Rochelle Harris, PR Officer, Tel: +44 (0)207 7405 3835
Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP)
11 Guilford Street
London WC1N 1DH
Tel: +44 (0)207 405-3835
Fax: +44 (0)207 404-9088