Police in Turkey prevents anti-war protests

Police in Turkey prevents anti-war protests
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Riot police blockaded pro-Kurdish HDP members from gathering to protest against Turkey’s airstrikes in Northern Syria

Turkish police prevented dozens of demonstrations across Turkey where mainly Kurdish people tried to gather to protest Turkey’s massive offensive to Northern Syria over the weekend that killed 14 people, according to Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF,) the military wing of a de facto government reigning in the region.

Many provincial branches of pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) attempted to gather for press briefings only to be dispersed by the police, in one instance pushed from the garden of the party building back inside.

“It is not the Kurds who pose a threat to Turkey, but the ISIS and its derivative organizations that thrive in the occupied living areas of the Kurds,” said a statement by the HDP administration.

Videos on social media showed plainclothes police brutally arresting a journalist from Yeni Yasam who was covering an event by the HDP Edremit branch of Van province.

In Adana, riot police forced HDP members to go back to their buldings using violence. Evrensel Newspaper reporter Volkan Pekal was also beaten by the police.

In Mersin, police blockaded the building of HDP Provincial branch and prevented the crowd from leaving the building. The crowd held a sit-in and chanted slogans such as “Kobanê has not fallen, it will not fall.”

Meanwhile, 12 bar associations from Turkey’s southeast cities denounced the military offensive with a statement.

“What we do not need today is deepening the problem with military operations in areas where Kurds live intensely, but to make peace with all segments of society,” the statement said.