One killed after police open fire on protestors

One killed after police open fire on protestors

In Diyarbakır, police used construction vehicles as shields to protect themselves from attacks during violent protests staged by civilians angered by a YSK decision to disqualify some independent nominees intending to run in the June elections.

April 20, 2011, Wednesday/ 17:06:00/ AZİZ İSTEGÜN

As protests against a recent Supreme Election Board (YSK) decision continued on Wednesday, one person was killed and two injured after police opened fire on a group of protestors in the Bismil district of southeastern Diyarbakır.

A large group took to the streets in Bismil to protest the YSK’s decision to bar some parliamentary nominees endorsed by the Pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). Police reportedly opened fire on the group after the protestors became violent. A 20-year-old in the group, identified as Vedat, was pronounced dead at the scene. Two more were injured and rushed to a nearby hospital.

In addition, there were minor protests yesterday in some towns across Turkey by demonstrators angered by the YSK decision, but their actions were less intense. On protest of the YSK ruling, some shops in the Southeast and the Kurdish-dominated eastern provinces did not open yesterday. In İstanbul, a group of BDP supporters demonstrated in front of the Aksaray Metro station in a sit-in protest. The group dispersed in the afternoon. There were also some attacks in certain neighborhoods, as demonstrators threw stones and damaged city buses. No one was hurt in the attacks and police said they were looking for the perpetrators.

In other developments, Kurdish politician Aysel Tuğluk, the former co-chairwoman of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) -- the BDP’s predecessor -- was scheduled to visit outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan on İmralı Island, where he has been jailed since 1999. She was unable to access the island due to adverse weather conditions and will try to visit Öcalan next week. Tuğluk’s visit was widely anticipated by Turkish officials and pundits, as it would have been the first meeting between Öcalan and a Kurdish politician after the YSK ruling.

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