ANKARA — Kurdish unrest has spread throughout much of southern
Officials said some of the organizers
came from such neighbors as Iran, Iraq and Syria.
On Saturday, about 1,000 Kurds rampaged through the town of Kiziltepe
near the Syrian border, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said the Kurds, many of them youngsters,
torched two banks, a building used by the ruling Justice and Development
Party and battled Turkish security forces.
One person was killed and another 10 were injured in Kiziltepe,
officials said. So far, eight people have been killed in what officials
termed the worst civil unrest in Turkey since the late 1970s.
"The security forces will intervene against the pawns of terrorism, no
matter whether they are children or women," Turkish Prime Minister Recep
Erdogan said. "Everyone should realize that."
The unrest began on March 28 after funerals for 14 operatives of the
Kurdish Workers Party, killed in a Turkish military operation a week ago.
Over the following days, thousands of Kurds fought security forces as
Kurdish insurgents detonated a bomb in Istanbul in which one person was
On Saturday, Kurds and police also clashed in Silopi near the Iraqi
border. The rioters hurled rocks at sticks at security officers, who
responded by firing tear gas.
The Kurdish riots stemmed in Diyarbakir, where most of the violence has
taken place. Authorities reported that the city of 1 million was quiet on
Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said Iranians, Iraqis and Syrians
have been participating in the Kurdish insurgency against Ankara. He said
three Syrians, an Iraqi, and an Iranian were among the 14 PKK fighters
killed in late March.
Gul said Iran, Iraq and Syria were cooperating with Turkey on
intelligence issues regarding the PKK. In an interview on Turkish
television, Gul called on the Baghdad government to stop PKK activities in
"Otherwise, in the future, the PKK forces will definitely inflict losses
against Iraq as well as Turkey," Gul said.