Turkish police tear gas pro-Palestinian protesters at air base


Turkish police tear gas pro-Palestinian protesters at air base

Demonstrators maintain non secular banners as they participate in a rally towards US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s go to to Turkey, close to the US Embassy in Ankara on 5 November, 2023. AFP

Turkish police Sunday fired tear gas to disperse a pro-Palestinian rally staged exterior a navy base housing US forces simply hours earlier than the arrival in Ankara of Washington’s prime diplomat.

The protest exterior the Incirlik Air Base in southeastern Turkey was organised by the IHH humanitarian reduction fund, which in 2010 led a flotilla to Gaza that sparked Israeli raids through which 10 civilians died.

An AFP photographer mentioned the police intervened when the group started to stroll towards the base after holding a peaceable rally in Incirlik.

Images on social media confirmed a number of hundred individuals waving Palestinian flags working throughout a discipline chased by the police, who additionally used water cannon.

There have been no reviews of accidents or arrests. US officers issued no remark.

The Mediterranean coastal base is owned by Turkey however utilized by the US Air Force and infrequently Britain’s Royal Air Force, offering them with strategic entry to massive elements of the Middle East.

The IHH protest was timed to coincide with a go to to Ankara by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was to reach late Sunday and meet Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Monday.

Nearly 1,000 individuals additionally rallied Sunday exterior the US embassy in Ankara, in keeping with an AFP photographer at the scene.

Meanwhile, in France, hundreds of individuals marched within the southern metropolis of Marseille in help of the Palestinians and calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

That demonstration, referred to as by a bunch of associations, events and commerce unions, was attended by 2,700 individuals within the afternoon, in keeping with French police.

However, organisers advised the group in Marseille “there are thousands of us”, because the protesters waved a sea of Palestinian flags.

Kurdish insurgency

NATO member Turkey has been hit by weeks of often huge protests since Israel went to conflict towards Hamas final month.

Israel is making an attempt to crush militants who staged the deadliest assault within the nation’s historical past on October 7, killing greater than 1,400 individuals, principally civilians, and taking 240 hostages, in keeping with Israeli officers.

Israel’s bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip has killed greater than 9,770 individuals, principally ladies and kids, in keeping with the Hamas-run well being ministry.

Turkey, which itself has been battling a decades-long Kurdish insurgency that has claimed tens of hundreds of lives, initially defended Israel’s proper to battle again towards Hamas.

But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has toughened up his tone because the conflict grinds on and the civilian loss of life toll climbs.

Erdogan has repeatedly lashed out at the United States for supporting the Israeli operation, which he has in comparison with “genocide”.

He led a large rally in Istanbul final month that he mentioned was attended by 1.5 million individuals, calling Israel an “occupier” that was appearing like a “war criminal”.

‘Turkey’s responsibility’

Turkey mentioned Saturday it was recalling its ambassador to Israel for consultations and breaking off contacts with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Erdogan holds personally answerable for the civilian toll.

Israel and Turkey had been steadily mending their relations, which ruptured within the wake of the 2010 IHH try to interrupt Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip.

They reappointed ambassadors final yr and have been relaunching discussions a couple of US-backed pure gas pipeline that might have shaped the premise for extra lasting ties.

Blinken, who paid an unannounced go to to the West Bank on Sunday as a part of his Middle East tour, will likely be travelling to Turkey for the primary time because the begin of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

But Erdogan will likely be touring Turkey’s distant northeast on Monday, making it unlikely he’ll personally meet the US diplomat.

The Turkish chief mentioned on Sunday that Ankara was “working behind the scenes” to cease the bloodshed and make sure the supply of humanitarian help to Gaza.

“Stopping the bloodshed in Gaza is Turkey’s duty,” Erdogan mentioned in televised remarks.

Fidan spoke by cellphone Sunday together with his Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts, in keeping with a Turkish diplomatic supply.

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