At least 12 dead in Turkey as fate of Syrian town stirs up Kurdish tensions

At least 12 people died on Tuesday during violent clashes across Turkey, local media reported, as the fate of the besieged Syrian border town of Kobani stirred up decades of tensions with Turkey’s Kurdish minority, Reuters reports.

Violence erupted in Turkish towns and cities mainly in the Kurdish southeastern provinces, as protesters took to the streets to demand the government do more to protect Kobani, a predominantly Kurdish settlement which has been surrounded by Islamic State fighters for three weeks.

Authorities imposed curfews in at least five provinces, police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse demonstrators who burnt cars and tires, whilst groups linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) clashed with Islamic State sympathizers, authorities said.

Eight people died in Diyabakir, the largest Kurdish city in the southeast. Several others died in the eastern provinces of Mus, Siirt and Batman in clashes between police and protesters.

Istanbul Governor’s Office said 98 people were detained in ‘illegal protests’ across the country’s biggest city, and 30 people were wounded, including eight police officers.

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