April 05, 2007


According to an April 4th Associated Press report:

Police and soldiers fired warning shots into the air and used tear gas and truncheons Wednesday to disperse hundreds of stone-throwing Kurdish protesters in southeast Turkey.

The protesters wanted to travel to the village of Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan to mark his 58th birthday, reports said.

The clashes erupted when police and soldiers blocked a highway and stopped a convoy of around 4,000 Kurds near the town of Halfeti in Sanliurfa province. Angry Kurds, shouting slogans in support of Ocalan, began throwing stones at the soldiers and police, prompting them to open fire into the air, the private Dogan news agency said.

Some of the protesters and at least one police officer were slightly injured, it said. The group wanted to travel to the village of Omerli, where Ocalan was born, near the town of Birecik.

Another aspect of the story caught our eye. It appears that the local Turkish officials gave food and gifts to the Kurdish kids in school in an attempt to keep them away from the demonstration. "We distributed kebabs at the high school and toys at the primary school to prevent the manipulation of the children", stated Birecik's governor Tuncay Sonel.

Sounds a bit similar in methodology to the "Handouts For Votes" campaign of Gagik Tsarukyan's Prosperous Armenia party. After all it's just a harmless bribe right? No harm done...


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