Kurdish protester killed in Turkey by security forces
A Kurdish protester has reportedly been killed and two others wounded during violent clashes with Turkish security forces in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir.
Turkish media reported on Tuesday that the clashes broke out at a cemetery near the town of Lice in Diyarbakir, where Kurdish protesters had gathered to prevent police from removing a statue of Mahsum Korkmaz, one of the founders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Korkmoz was among the members who carried out the first PKK attacks against Turkish military posts three decades ago.
Reports say a 24-year-old man was injured by gunfire during the clashes and later succumbed to his wounds in a hospital.
On Monday, a court in Diyarbakir ruled that the statue must be demolished two days after it was erected in the province and sparked outrage in the country’s political circles.
The clashes took place a day after Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed PKK leader, welcomed the start of a political process to resolve differences between Ankara and the group and said the PKK’s decades-long war with the Turkish government is coming to an end.
The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region in southeastern Turkey since the 1980s. The conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead.
In March 2013, Ocalan declared a historic ceasefire after months of negotiations with the Turkish government. In return, the PKK demanded amendments to the penal code and electoral laws as well as the right to education in the Kurdish language and a degree of regional autonomy.