Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Tensions spill into Turkey’s main Kurdish city

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, June 28 (AFP) - The mood at Haydar Okur’s home after the tense funeral of his son, a Kurdish rebel killed in a clash with Turkish soldiers, was of defiance rather than mourning.

Friends and relatives who gathered in Okur’s flat in a poor neighborhood of Diyarbakir, the central city of Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast, shed no tears as they spoke angrily of their dissatisfaction with reforms undertaken by Ankara to expand Kurdish freedoms.

For them, a decision by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to end a five-year unilateral ceasefire, leading to a sharp increase in violence in the region over the past three months, was the inevitable consequence of what they described as continuing discrimination and oppression of the Kurds.

"I would not have wanted my son to go to the mountains," Okur said. "I want peace and no more bloodshed. But the state is still denying the Kurds their full rights. I want justice." The retired imam (Muslim prayer leader) was speaking late Monday, shortly after burying his 37-year-old son Ahmet, one of five PKK militants killed Friday in a clash with the army in the mountains of neighboring Bingol province.

Read the rest of the article on KurdishMedia
See also KurdishInfo, source of the photo

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