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Diyarbakir protests timid as Kurds wary of post-coup crackdown

Furious over the arrest of their co-mayors, the Kurds of Diyarbakir are protesting by the thousands, but the crowds would be larger if the population weren't exhausted by the ongoing conflict with the Turkish government and afraid of being targeted.
Selahattin Demirtas, co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), talks during a gathering to protest against the arrest of the city's popular two joint mayors for alleged links to terrorism, in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar - RTX2QPFF

Turkey’s Kurds protested the detentions of the co-mayors of Diyarbakir, the country’s largest Kurdish-majority city, for a second day, even as a government-imposed internet outage across the mainly Kurdish southeast provinces disrupted efforts to organize.

In Diyarbakir, Selahatttin Demirtas, the co-chair of the largest pro-Kurdish bloc, the Peoples' Democratic party (HDP) vowed to keep up the protests until Gultan Kisanak and Firat Anli, both arrested Oct. 25 on terrorism charges, are set free. Addressing several hundred people gathered outside the Diyarbakir city hall on Oct. 27, Demirtas accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of waging a “dirty war” against the Kurds. Demirtas said the government does not respect “justice, the constitution, nor political ethics.” The only means “to defend against such oppression is to resist, to escalate the struggle,” asserted Demirtas.

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