Tensions ran high in the northwestern province of Edirne last Sunday when a group of DHKP/C members organized a demonstration to protest the arrests of five of their friends by the police. Thousands of locals who believed that the demonstration was in support of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) gathered in the provincial capital. After the crowd was informed that three buses carrying DHKP/C supporters coming from İstanbul to protest the arrests was entering the city, they moved toward tollbooths at the entrance of the city and closed the road to traffic. Nearly 150 people in the buses and the crowd clashed there, and some were injured. Police intervened in the altercation to prevent further violence.
Following this, DHKP/C supporters decided to wait in the district of Babaeski. They have waited for four days to enter Edirne, but to no avail. Although some from the group have already returned to İstanbul, saying they have school exams, the majority continues to wait at a roadside restaurant with the hope of entering Edirne.
In the meantime, the families of some protestors have started to go to Babaeski to bring their children back home. Among them is Güler E., who after seeing her daughter Alev E. (17) on TV, boarded a bus for Edirne. Alev E. left her house saying she was going to a friend’s. Güler E. came to the restaurant on Wednesday and claimed that her daughter was being held against her will. Opposed to Güler E. taking her daughter, Ebru Timtik, a lawyer with the group, had a row with the mother. “Why are you holding my daughter here? Do you want to take her to the mountains?” the mother asked the lawyer. Güler E. has since returned to İstanbul with her daughter.
Alişan Y., the father of Birkan Y. (19), another protestor, also came to Babaeski on Thursday after he saw his son on TV. “I did not bring up my son for you,” Alişan Y. told the group before taking his son home.