Turkey: Thousands pour out onto streets to protest killing of 24 soldiers in terrorist attack
“Words would not suffice to describe our pain. We bleed our pain internally for the well-being of our nation and our state. Those who have accounts to settle with the Turkish Republic are attacking from all sides. This state is ours, let us claim it,” Turgay Çetin, the provincial representative of the Turkish Public Workers’ Union (Türkiye Kamu-Sen) in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir, said following a protest rally there.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered in the provinces of Erzurum, Konya, Antalya, Nevşehir, Muğla, Afyon, Kocaeli, Edirne, Yozgat, Zonguldak, Karabük, Bursa and Trabzon to protest the latest PKK attacks. Students, members of nongovernmental organizations, representatives of political parties and other concerned citizens waved Turkish flags, chanted slogans and marched toward memorials of local fallen soldiers.
Some 10,000 people rallied yesterday in the eastern province of Erzurum alone, while Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım also arrived in the city to attend the fallen troops’ funeral ceremonies. “We need to stand upright,” he said.
Another soldier died yesterday in a separate mine explosion in Kekliktepe, about 15 kilometers away from the center of Hakkari’s Çukurca district that was the focal point of the PKK’s Oct. 19 attack.
The funeral ceremony of Sgt. Yunus Yılmaz in Ankara yesterday was attended by many high-ranking state officials, including President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and the head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli, as well as other prominent opposition figures, the acquaintances of the fallen troops and numerous other citizens. The Directorate of Religious Affairs has also issued a directive to preach sermons and hold rites in memory of the dead soldiers.
October 20, 2011
SOURCE: Hürriyet Daily News