The Ministry of Interior issued a ban on all demonstrations in the southeastern province of Siirt between Aug. 10 - 20 to avert a commemoration of the first armed raid by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on Aug. 15, 1984. A demonstration will nonetheless be held in the Kurdish province of Diyarbakır on Wednesday.
"Aug. 15 is a significant and historic date for the Kurds. There is also a need to offer moral support during the celebrations to the Kurds in Syria with respect to the developments there and hail them in earnest... The Kurds no longer entertain any expectations. To the contrary, they plainly [aim for] acts that rely on their self-strength. This situation was also manifest during the Newroz [celebrations] and July 14. The acts and demonstrations we are going to perform after this point will also [aim to] impose a solution," Zübeyde Zümrüt, the Diyarbakır Provincial Co-chair of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP,) said in a public statement.
The meeting in Diyarbakır is intended both to celebrate Aug. 15 and to protest the government's decision to ban demonstrations in Siirt.
Zümrüt also said the commemoration festival was to be held in Sümerpark, according to news stories that appeared on the daily Özgür Gündem and the Diyarbakır News website.
Aug. 15 is also the anniversary of the establishment the Kurdish daily Azadiya Welat, she further pointed out.
"Banning the demonstration is unlawful"
The Eruh District Govenor's Office in Siirt banned the "People's Festival" that was scheduled for Aug. 14 in the Newroz Area in compliance with a notice issued by the Ministry of Interior.
The notice directs local authorities to prevent any demonstrations in the district of Eruh between Aug. 10-20. The Eruh Municipality, however, issued a written statement denouncing that order.
Authorities' decision to ban the demonstration is unlawful, the statement said, adding that they were going to protest the orders in a meeting in the Newroz Area also to be attended by BDP Co-chair Gültan Kışanak.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people also gathered in the city of Giessen in Germany on Aug. 12 to hold a celebration, while Kurds living in Paris will also commemorate Aug. 15 in Bastille.
PKK's first raid in 1984
A group of 30 PKK militants led by Mahsun Korkmaz simultaneously raided public buildings and attacked military installations in the district of Eruh in Siirt and the district of Şemdinli in the southeastern province of Hakkari on Aug. 15, 1984. Private Süleyman Aydın lost his life in the incident, while another 13 troops were also wounded in consequence.
The establishment of the PKK's armed wing, the Hêzên Rizgarîya Kurdistan (HRK - Kurdistan Liberation Forces,) was also announced in wake of the raids. (AS)