Turkey declares curfew to disperse protests over IS advance

October 8, 2014 6:48 am 

ANKARA, Oct. 8 — Turkey Tuesday declared a curfew in three eastern and southeastern provinces in an effort to disperse demonstrations against the advance of Islamic State (IS) militants into Kurdish populated Kobane town in northern Syria, the private Dogan news agency reported.

The curfew was declared in towns of southeastern Mardin province, eastern Van province and eastern Siirt province of Turkey, according to the report.

One person, Hakan Buksur, was reportedly killed by live ammunition as riot police fired at demonstrators with bullets, tear gas and water cannons in Varto town in eastern province of Mus, said the report.

"Protesters should empty the streets or the issue will produce unforeseen results," Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala said in Gaziantep province on Tuesday, warning that "violence will be responded to."

The pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party (HDP) issued an appeal on Monday, calling on Kurds in Turkey to hold demonstrations against Islamic State's "attempt to massacre" Syrian Kurds in the city of Kobane.

Protesters have been staging demonstrations across Turkey since late Monday as Kurds in the country urge the Turkish government to defend Syrian Kurds in the neighboring country that has witnessed fierce clashes between Islamic State militants and Kurdish fighters for three weeks.

Kurdish groups, reportedly affiliated with the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), torched banks, cars, buildings on Tuesday, following reports that the IS militants had captured some parts of Kobane over the weekend.

Kobane, also known as Ayn al-Arab, has been subject to ferocious attacks by Islamic State militants over the past two weeks. IS fighters have succeeded in capturing hundreds of Kurdish villages around Kobane, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee.

Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan Monday called on the United States to intensify its aerial attacks against the Islamist militants in northern Syria to avoid the fall of Kobane.

"Our government and related institutions have underlined the necessity to intensify aerial bombings in a more active and effective ways through contacts with U.S. officials until late into yesterday night," Akdogan said in a written statement on Monday.

Last week the Turkish parliament passed a motion to authorize cross-border military actions in neighboring Syria and Iraq to fight terrorist groups. The decision will grant the government a one-year mandate to send Turkish Armed Forces if necessary to foreign countries for cross-border operations and interventions and to position foreign militaries in Turkey for the same purposes.

High-ranking U.S. officials will hold talks in Turkey on Thursday over a possible military contribution of Ankara to the U.S.-led military coalition fighting the Islamic State. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/JSD

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