Turkey: Huge march to break siege as regime escalates attacks

March 2, 2016

Protestors knock down police barricade in Amed, March 2. Photo: Kurdish Question.

Thousands of people marched to the Sur district of Kurdish city of Amed (Diyarbakir in Turkish) in Turkey's south-east Sur district from all corners of the city on March 2 to break the three-month siege and curfew by Turkish state forces.

Marchers wore masks of those who were killed in the Turkish regime's massacre of civilians in the Silopi and Cizre districts. Many shouted the slogans such as: “We will resist and win”, “Long live the resistance in Sur”, and “Fascist Turkish state out of Kurdistan”.

The Amed governor closed all entrances to ahead of the mass march. Only residents of the neighbourhoods were to be allowed access to the district.

Clashes broke out between demonstrators and police teams across Amed as police fired gas canisters, plastic bullets and water at people seeking to break the siege.

Armoured vehicles, tanks and water cannons were reported to be stationed on all streets. Skirmishes broke between demonstrators and state forces in the Yenisehir neighbourhood after state forces used gas bombs and water on marchers.

Those marching from the district of Bismil were blocked from entering the city, but the marchers were reported to be fighting back.

Police barricades have been torn down as protesters chanted “PKK are the people and the people are here!”, in reference to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an armed group fighting for Kurdish liberation. Demonstrators have built their own barricades and lit fires.

Hundreds of civilians are trapped in several places in Sur and are under fire by Turkish military and police forces. State forces have been conducting intense artillery strikes against civilian areas.

Videos have emerged of families with children and babies trapped by Turkish forces. There are fears that a massacre will be carried out like the one in Cizre, where as many as 178 people were shot or burned to death.

Meanwhile, calls were made by People's Democratic Party (HDP) officials for people to continue marching despite police attacks. HDP co-president Selahattin Demirtas said: “Our people must be resolute. The aim is not a one hour protest. We are trying to break the siege of Sur.”

The marches began after a call for residents of Amed and neighbouring districts to converge on Sur was issued on February 29 by Demirtas, Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-president Kamuran Yuksek, Peoples' Democratic Congress (HDK) co-spokesperson Gulistan Kilic Kocyigit, and Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-presidents Hatip Dicle and Selma Irmak.

[Compiled from Kurdish Question.]

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