VIDEO: Turkish Police Heavily Cracks Down in Diyarbakir as Tensions Goes High

Mon Dec 14, 2015 20:10:20

Clashes break out between Turkish police and Kurdish protesters during demonstrations against a security crackdown in southeast city of Diyarbakir.

Turkish police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse a protest against a security crackdown in the main southeastern city of Diyarbakir on Monday (December 14) while curfews were declared elsewhere in the region.

Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast has been beset by unrest in recent months as security forces battle Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants after a ceasefire collapsed in July. Ankara has imposed round-the-clock curfews in many areas.

The latest clashes began as hundreds gathered for a march called by the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) to demonstrate against a nearly two-week-long curfew in the city's historic district of Sur.


Footage showed police water cannons were fired onto crowds. Policemen fired tear gas as protesters ran.

In Sirnak province, the governor imposed a curfew in two towns near the borders of both Syria and Iraq from Monday night, a day after teachers were seen streaming out of the area on the orders of education authorities.

The towns of Cizre and Silopi were under tight security, with police armoured vehicles stationed at the entrances to both, witnesses said.

"A curfew is declared to neutralise separatist terror group members, remove explosives-laden barricades and ditches ... and secure public order," the Sirnak governor's office said in a statement. It said the curfew would begin at 11 p.m.

On Sunday (December 13), teachers were spotted lugging suitcases along roads to bus stations or seeking to hitch-hike with passing vehicles.

Witnesses said local teachers had received an SMS message instructing them to return to their home provinces for training between Dec. 14-16. Turkish teachers are often posted on assignments away from home.

Locals, anticipating that the teachers were being recalled ahead of a curfew, formed queues at bakeries and shops to buy food, witnesses said. Several thousand teachers are based in the towns.

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