Istanbul, July 21 () - While a blast in Suruç bordering Syria’s Kobane killed 31 people from a socialist youth group on July 20 with a suspected ISIL attack, nationwide protests marked the streets from Istanbul to Turkey’s eastern provinces and resort towns. In various provinces, police teams intervened the protests with water cannons and tear gas.
In Istanbul’s central Taksim district, including the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party), the ESP (the Socialist Party of the Oppressed), the Turkey Public Workers' Syndicates Confederation, and various NGOs and unions in particular, the crowds have gathered to protest the bomb attack at 19.00 near the Tünel square.
While banners have read “Young ones will bring the murderers to account”, “ISIL gangs responsible for massacres will be defeated, and resisting people will win”, the protesters have walked out to the Galatasaray High School, chanting slogans.
Riot police teams have intervened the group with rubber ballots, tear gas and water cannons, when the group attempted to head to the Taksim quarter, holding flags, after having made their press statement. Istanbul Police Station had cancelled leaves of police officers after the attack, preventing the possible protests in the city.
The tension has spread to southern provinces; while a group protested the attack in Mersin, two people were wounded after an unknown assailant had opened fire over the protester group with a shotgun.
In Turkey’s eastern provinces as well, the atmosphere was tense on the streets. In Van, the bomb attack was condemned; riot police teams did not allow the protesters to march toward the Cumhuriyet Street afte the press statement, causing a brief tension. In Siirt province, a group affiliated to the HDP has bid to march towards the AKP’s provincial headquarter. Police intervened with tear gas and water cannons to the group. Co-chair of Siirt Municipality Belkis Epözdemir was briefly detained and then released after the incident.
At protests in eastern provinces of Diyarbakır, Elazığ and Batman, mostly under intense safety precautions, people have gathered in front of the HDP and BDP headquarters to march and make a press statement and have dispended peacefully.