Turkey: police fire on Kurdish protesters

Turkish security forces killed one and wounded nine as villagers armed with improvised petrol bombs attacked a construction site of the gendarmerie at Kayacik in the Kurdish-majority province of Diyarbakir June 29. The attack came amid a protest against the new police station. Officers used tear-gas and live fire against the attackers. (Euronews, Focus Information Agency, June 29) The incident came two weeks after a conference in Diyarbakir openly broached the independence of Turkey's Kurdish areas, a topic long taboo in the country. The Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the Congress of Democratic Society (KCD) have held many conferences on Kurdish issues in the past, but this was the first where leaders discussed possible secession from Turkey and an independent Kurdish state. Organizers referred to the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan as "the president of the Kurdish nation." (Rudaw, June 26)