Twelve alleged members of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and five soldiers reportedly died in the course of military operations that have been going on for a whole week in Şırnak, a province in the pre-dominantly Kurdish region of south-eastern Turkey on the Iraqi border.
In protest to the operations, many shop keepers in several cities and provinces left their shops closed, schools were boycotted and demonstrations were organized.
Hakkari 53 people taken into custody in one day
47 people were taken into police custody in the course of the operations carried out in Hakkari, the province on the south-eastern tip of the country, on Sunday night (15 May), as reported by the Dicle News Agency (DİHA). Together with another six people who were taken into custody during protest actions, the total number of people taken into custody in Hakkari on Sunday rose to 53.
Şırnak/Cizre: Fire arms and gas bombs at school
Students of the Atatürk High School in Cizre (Şırnak) boycotted the lessons and chanted the slogan "Martyrs don't die" during some of the lessons. It was reported that the nearby Cizre Military Branch opened gunfire towards the school. No students were injured but the windows of the school flew into flinders and the walls were considerably damaged by the bullet holes. The students replied with shouting further slogans whereupon the military threw a gas bomb to the school. Many students were affected by the tear gas. The students' parents came to school after the word of the incident had spread.
Şırnak: Shops closed, thousands of people demonstrated
Shops in several districts of the city of Şırnak remained closed; the Labour, Democracy and Freedom Block interrupted their campaign for the general elections in June. Thousands of people gathered in the district of Uludere to protest. Black banners were posted at the provincial building of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the BDP Şırnak Municipality. The protestors expressed their support for the families of the PKK members who were killed in the course of the military operations. The governorship decided to block access to the Uludere district for vehicles as well as pedestrians.
Yüksekova: Clashes after demonstration
Thousands of people demonstrated in Yüksekova (Hakkari). After a press release at the end of the demonstration, BDP executives called on the crowd to disperse slowly and quietly. A group of demonstrators put up a barricade and closed the main road to traffic. The police intervened with water cannons and tear gas and the demonstrators threw stones, Molotov cocktails and pyrotechnic articles towards the police.
Shops closed, schools boycotted, no public transport
In Diyarbakır and several other major cities in south-eastern Turkey, shops remained closed on Monday (17 May) to protest the death of the twelve PKK members. Schools were boycotted in a couple of places; public transport came to a still stand; demonstrators took the street.
Tension during demonstration in Istanbul
In Istanbul, about one thousand people gathered on the Galatasary Square in central Istanbul on Monday to protest the operations of the Turkish Armed Forces against the PKK. A short commotion occurred when the crowd tried to walk along Istiklal Avenue towards Takism.
The police stopped the demonstrators from walking to Taksim. Thereupon, they transformed the march into a two-hour sit-down protest on Galatasaray Square. (ŞA/EÖ/VK)
Sources: DİHA, Yüksekova Haber
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