Protesters in Turkey have held fresh rallies in the two major cities of Istanbul and Ankara, venting their anger at the government for its bombing campaign against ISIL (Daesh) positions in Syria and those of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq.
The demonstrations were held in the two cities on Sunday, when many of the demonstrators accused Turkish authorities of collaborating with ISIL, a claim that Ankara denies.
Meanwhile, clashes erupted between demonstrators and police in Istanbul after the protesters hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at police forces, who responded by using water cannons and firing tear gas and plastic bullets to disperse the crowd.
The scuffles took place in a district near the city center in Istanbul. It has been volatile since the killing of Gunay Ozarslan on Friday during nationwide police operations against individuals suspected of being linked to the ISIL terror group and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Turkey has seen an upsurge in violence and protest rallies following a massive bomb attack in the town of Suruc on the Syrian border on July 20. Over 30 people were killed in the attack, which was said to have been carried out by a young man linked to ISIL.
The Sunday protests came a day after Turkish authorities in Istanbul refrained from authorizing an anti-ISIL demonstration planned by the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Following the Suruc blast, a number of policemen and soldiers were killed in attacks attributed by Turkish media to the PKK.
Ankara has started an offensive against Daesh positions in Syria and PKK targets in northern Iraq.