News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(ANF) Police have attacked demonstrators in Diyarbakir who were protesting the killing of two civilians in on Friday. The demonstration was organized in response to the killing by riot police of two local workers – Mehmet Reşit İşbilir and his nephew Veysel İşbilir – in the district of Yükseova (Gever) in the province of Hakkari (Colemêrg) during protests two days against the desecration of a guerilla cemetery.
Protesters gathered in front of the Diyarbakir (Amed) Branch Headquarters of the BDP and began to march toward Koşuyolu Park. After meetings between BDP officials and police commanders, the blockade of of armored vehicles were lifted and the march was allowed to proceed. In the course of the march YPG-H, KCK and PKK flags were unfurled, and a large banner reading “The people of Amed will hold the murders in Gever to account.”
Police stopped marchers a second time in Bayındırlık Avenue, where BDP co-President Gültan Kışanak made a short speech in which she accused the authorities of exploiting the event to spread false stories and to provoke a reaction among Kurds, saying “The powers that be are attempting to cover up this murder by claiming that this obvious event was a provocation. Two civilians who were exercising their democratic rights lost their lives and the murders were the police. The government must hand over those police who were so quick to use their weapons to the proper authorities. If the government wants to stop these provocations they must condemn these two murders, state that they are unacceptable and hand over those who carried out these murders to justice.”
Kışanak went on to point out how in the past 11 years of AKP rule approximately 150 people have lost their lives in police attacks on demonstrations, saying “They say that demonstrators are using weapons. This is an insult to reason. If demonstrations had used weapons it would have turned into a lake of blood. If a provocation is being sought after, the attack by those desecrating cemeteries was an attack in its own right. We have been warning the AKP for seven months. To bring together those cementarites which until now have been located in various rural areas in one space in those most democratic of rights and you will respect this. This was a provocation in its own right. The subject of cemeteries is a sensitive one. If you attack the values of people you will not be able keep this country in any state of order. You will hand over the police and JİTEM elements who are the cause of these deaths for trial. From now on let us all react to these events.”
Kışanak later addressed the government directly, saying “We are here today using our right to demonstrate. Those who are making no effort to find the murders have sent an unimaginable force here. We are trying to organize our people. Be aware of the danger that is now present everywhere. I am also addressing the government. If there is an ounce of sincerity in them let them bring these events to light and let them bring out the naked truth around JİTEM. Speak and come out into the open. Enough already for two long you have tread on top of the Kurds. Enough already we will not surrender to these blackened faces and we will not leave this place to them. Come out onto the streets! Shout! March! Hold them to account!”
After Kişanak spoke tension mounted as police did not allow the march to go ahead. Then police attacked protesters with tear gas and water cannons. Youth within the crowd responded with rocks and homemade fireworks. As clashes continued on the main avenue and on side streets, police forcibly arrested many. At least 10 people were injured and 4 police were lightly injured by the homemade fireworks.
Local houses suffered damage and residents – including the elderly and children – were exposed to gas. Police fired gas canisters into multiple homes as the clashes spread throughout the district of Bağlar. Police latter blocked over major intersections with armored vehicles throughout Bağlar and Yenişehir as a precautionary measure.