Kurdish protester killed in clashes with Turkish police

Turkish Kurdish protesters clash with Turkish security forces during a pro-Kurdish protest near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province. (File photo: Reuters)

An 18-year-old Kurdish protester was killed Saturday in unclear circumstances during clashes with police in the majority Kurd region of southeast Turkey, local authorities and witnesses said.

The victim, Rojhat Özdel, was killed by a bullet while anti-riot police responded to stone-throwing protesters at the rally in the city of Yüksekova, according to witnesses.

Local authorities said that the young protester was “implicated in the violence against police forces.”

An autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of his death.

Another protester was wounded in the clashes.

The protest rally had been called to commemorate the death of three demonstrators in the same city in a confrontation with police a year ago.

Tensions remain high in Turkey’s east and southeast after violent pro-Kurd riots that left more than 30 people dead in early October.

The protesters were demonstrating against Ankara’s refusal to intervene militarily to help the Kurds defend the Syrian border city of Kobane which has been under siege by jihadists from the Islamic State group.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45