Turkey: Thousands nationwide protest PKK terrorism
Thousands of people across Turkey on Sunday demonstrated against PKK terrorism in the wake of recent deadly attacks that targeted security officers and civilians.
The demonstrators poured into streets with carrying Turkish flags and anti-PKK banners reading "Martyrs never die, the nation won't be divided" and "Let the hands of those reaching out for the [Turkish] flag be broken".
The mass protests came after a suicide car bomb attack on Saturday martyred 14 soldiers and wounded 55 others in the central Turkish province of Kayseri. One week ago, twin bombings claimed by PKK's TAK organization martyred 44 people, including several police officers, in Istanbul.
Hakkari is one of the southeastern provinces most affected by the terrorist attacks for many years. Around 3,000 people in Yuksekova district took to the streets to protest the PKK group.
Hundreds of people in Hakkari's Cukurca district also protested the attacks and chanted anti-PKK slogans.
Southeastern Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Mardin and Sanliurfa provinces saw local residents and non-governmental organizations gather at squares to protest the PKK terrorism.
Mehmet Akdeniz, the provincial head of Confederation of Public Servants Trade Unions (Memur-Sen) in Sirnak, said people from all walks of life including Turks, Kurds, and Arabs united for Turkey.
"The PKK terrorist organization that wanted to smash this brotherhood attacked our people who were going to work and school, and the soldiers who were going on weekend leave."
In Diyarbakir, the demonstrators observed a minute of silence, read the national anthem and prayed for those martyred in the terror attacks.
Thousands of others also gathered in eastern Elazig, Erzurum and Kars provinces to condemn the PKK's attacks on civilians, security forces and soldiers.
Sefa Kaya, an Elazig resident, said both Turks and Kurds saved the country in Canakkale, referring to the battle in the Canakkale (Dardanelles) Strait in Canakkale's Gelibolu district in World War I against the Allied Forces.
"Now they are setting at odds to us each other. We are all brothers," Kaya said.
In southern Antalya province, all political parties joined a rally to show solidarity against terrorism.
Antalya Governor Munir Karaloglu said: "We took the streets to show our reaction to terrorism as all our political parties, non-governmental organizations, public institutions."
In Turkey's central provinces such as Konya, Karaman, Eskisehir, Kutahya, Kirsehir, Nevsehir and Yozgat, people united against terrorism.
The demonstrators in Konya marched to the graveyard of martyrs in the city and they left the carnations on their gravestones.
Western Sakarya, Tekirdag, Balikesir and Bursa provinces are also among those where anti-PKK demonstrations were held. Thousands reacted to the recent terrorist attacks.
The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July last year.
More than 300 civilians and about 850 security personnel since have been martyred. More than 9,000 PKK terrorists have been killed or apprehended.AA
Last Modified: 2016-12-19 13:47:55
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