Protest against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Quito, Ecuador on February 4, 2016. Photo: Giran Özcan.
Supporters of the Kurdish struggle took to the streets of Ecuador's capital, Quito, on February 4 to protest against Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is in Ecuador on an official two-day visit. At the protest, one Erdoğan's bodyguards broke the nose of Ecuadorean member of parliament Diego Vintimilla.
The protesters opposed Ankara's military operations against the militant Kurdish Workers' party (PKK) group, in which hundreds of civilians have been killed since August.
Protesters chanted, “Long live Kurdistan,” “Murderer Erdoğan” and “Out with Erdoğan” as the Turkish leader entered the IAEN University in Quito.
Giran Özcan, the Latin American representative of the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), was at the protest and told TeleSUR that Vintimilla, who was with the protesters, was injured in a confrontation with one of Erdoğan's security guards.
“Erdoğan's security guard attacked a protester, broke his nose and he is going to hospital now,” he said. “The people of Ecuador realise that a murderer is visiting their country today. Through President Erdoğan's support for ISIS he is responsible for the hundreds of thousands of deaths in Syria.”
Özcan added that Erdoğan is responsible for the killing of hundreds of civilians in Kurdish towns such as Cizre and Sur as part of his push to consolidate power in Turkey.
He said the protest was an important action where “the people of Ecuador are showing solidarity with the Kurdish people and people of the Middle East against aspiring dictators such as Erdoğan and evil organisations that he supports, such as ISIS.”
Erdoğan met with Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa in the capital to finalise economic deals between the two nations, which Erdoğan described as “strategic” and the beginning of a golden era between Turkey and Ecuador.
Turkey and Ecuador currently have trade agreements that amount to almost US$200 million. Erdoğan said the two countries aim to increase trade to “US$500 or even to US$1 billion,” without specifying deadlines.
[Republished from TeleSUR English.]