Thousands take part in Istanbul anti-PKK demonstration, joined by tourists in the march

Turkey Materials 26 October 2007 17:42

( IHA ) - Approximately 3,000 angry Turks took to the streets in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Friday and were joined by tourists in their march. The demonstration was to protest PKK violence as 12 soldiers were slain in an ambush at the weekend, adding to previous casualties also caused by the hands of the PKK.

The protest was organized by students of Istanbul University. They marched through Galata Bridge with tourists protesting, PKK is a terrorist organization.

In an interview with IHA, a Dutch tourist discussed the current problems, I think they are nationalists. My personal opinion is that it is a problem for the Kurdish people, its better to stick to the democratic parties in Kurdistan. I think its mainly nationalistic fear, I don't know enough about it.

An Israeli tourist commented on the current crisis, In Israel we have no PKK, but we have another group using terrorism in order to do bad stuff. It is very good that young people say 'war against terrorism'. Around the world-in Turkey, in Israel, in the United States, in Europe- it doesn't matter.

Protesters chanted slogans and held banners reading '10. Yil Marsi', a line from the '10 year march', a famous traditional song in Turkey. There were shouts of "Damn the PKK," and "Martyrs are eternal, the nation is indivisible."

Thousands of people took to the streets throughout Turkey in spontaneous demonstrations on Sunday, hours after the PKK ambush on an army patrol in the mountains of the Hakkari province near the Iraqi border, in which four non-commissioned officers and eight privates were killed.

The army riposted immediately with helicopters and artillery, killing 32 PKK rebels according to a general staff statement, in one of the bloodiest days of fighting in the 23-year campaign the PKK has waged against Turkish security forces.

The clashes came just four days after parliament authorised sending troops into northern Iraq to strike at some 3,500 PKK militants based there.