Demonstrators continue protesting despite YSK reversal

April 26, 2011, Tuesday/ 19:26:00

Hundreds of supporters of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) who took to the streets in many Turkish provinces last week to protest a Supreme Election Board (YSK) decision barring 12 independent candidates from running in the June 12 parliamentary elections continued their violent protests, despite the reversal of the election body’s decision.

Tensions were still high in several districts of predominantly Kurdish provinces over the weekend, although the YSK on Thursday reviewed its decision, deciding to approve the candidacy of some of the deputies. A group of BDP supporters, which included independent deputy candidate Emine Ayna, staged a demonstration in the Ergani district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Saturday. The group gathered in front of the Ergani Cultural Center and marched towards the BDP’s Ergani provincial branch. During the protest, some demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails and firecrackers at the Ergani Police Station and the Ergani Gendarmerie Command, as well the Nationalist Movement’s Party’s (MHP) Ergani provincial branch office, where the resulting fire was contained by fire brigades. The group ended the protest after giving a press statement in front of the local BDP headquarters.

There were similar incidents in the southeastern province of Batman as well. A group that included BDP deputy Ayla Akat Ata made a press statement in front of the Batman Municipality building then marched towards Cumhuriyet Street and attacked shops and security forces with stones, Molotov cocktails and firecrackers. The police used tear gas and pressurized water to disperse the group, detaining 32 protestors.

Tension was also high in İstanbul’s Aksaray neighborhood on Sunday, as another pro-BDP group attacked police with stones and Molotov cocktails. The group also damaged some cars and shops in the area.

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