At least 31 killed in Turkey protests: minister
Erdogan says protests aimed at sabotaging peace process between Kurdish rebels and Ankara
At least 31 people have been killed and 360 others wounded in four days of violent protests in Turkey by Kurdish demonstrators angry at the government's lack of action to save the Syrian town of Kobane from a jihadist militant takeover, the interior minister said Friday.
U.N. envoy to Syria Steffan de Mistura appealed to Turkey on Friday to allow volunteers to defend Kobane, saying the U.N. resolution 2170 says everyone should do whatever possible to stop massacre.
De Mistura said 500-700 people, mostly elderly, are still in Kobane, 10,000-13,000 are in border area between Turkey and Syria
In addition to the toll of 31 people killed in protests, two policemen were shot dead in the southern city of Bingol late Thursday while inspecting the scene of a demonstration and five "terrorists" suspected of gunning them down were themselves killed, Interior Minister Efkan Ala told reporters.
Thousands of Kurds have taken to the streets to protest against what they see as Ankara's reluctance to help Kobane, a Syrian Kurdish town on the border besieged for weeks by militants from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
At least 29 people died after demonstrations turned violent and Turkish troops and tanks were deployed to restore order. Curfews were imposed in five provinces, measures unseen since the 1990s when the region was rocked by fighting between military and Kurdish militants.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that the protests are aimed at sabotaging the fragile peace process between Kurdish rebels and Ankara.
“It’s very obvious that this game is aimed at sabotaging the peaceful environment in the east and southeast as well as the peace process and our brotherhood,” Erdogan said in his first comments on the unrest that has left at least 22 people dead.
Erdogan said: “We will not tolerate any threat or intimidation that targets Turkey’s peace, stability and security.
“We will initiate the steps necessary to fight those who engage in such acts,” he said in a statement released by the presidency.
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