At least 12 people died in deadly clashes between Kurdish protesters and police in Turkey, late Tuesday.
Protesters are angry at what they perceived to be Ankara’s inaction to defend the Syrian town of Kobani, also known as Ayn Al-Arab, as it is being attacked by the Islamic State.
The deadliest demonstrations were in Diyarbakir, the largest Kurdish city in the southeast, were at least eight protesters were killed.
Turkey’s private Dogan news agency reported that eight people died and others were wounded in Diyarbakir as police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters who burned cars and damaged businesses.
Curfews were imposed in several predominantly Kurdish cities while other protests were staged across the country, including Ankara and Istanbul.
Turkish officials asserted that Turkey is doing its best to prevent Kobani from falling into the hands of the Islamic State.
Turkey is doing “whatever can be done” for Kobani, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan said, adding it was a “massive lie” that his country had done nothing for the town’s inhabitants, adding that it is helping in humanitarian aspects.
However, Kurds furiously accuse Turkey of merely watching as the town is being overrun by Islamic State militants, despite dozens of Turkish tanks being deployed at the border.
Reports say that Turkish troops and tanks, stationed at the border, have not crossed into Syria.
Kobani, which is mainly inhabited by Kurds, has been under a siege imposed by Islamic State fighters for nearly three weeks.