Twelve people have died and around 36 have been injured in demonstrations across Turkey which started on Tuesday night. Clashes between protesters and the security forces broke out in a number of major Turkish cities, including Istanbul and the capital, Ankara, SIA reports quoting the AA.
Many of the demonstrators were protesting in support of the terrorist group Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.
PKK-aligned forces have been fighting the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group in the mostly Kurdish Syrian town of Kobani just across the Turkish border.
On Wednesday morning, a 22-year-old man was killed during demonstrations in the southeastern city of Batman. Emrah Demir was critically injured during clashes between PKK supporters and police; he later died in hospital.
Eight people were killed in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, which saw the worst of the violence. Two more people were killed in Siirt plus one each in Mus and Batman.
Turkish police clashed with a 200-strong group in Istanbul’s central Beyoglu district. The security forces used tear gas and water cannon against stone-throwing demonstrators. An unconfirmed number of arrests were made.
In Istanbul’s Okmeydani district two journalists working for The Anadolu Agency were injured while covering the protests.
Turkish officials have condemned the clashes. "Violence will not solve anything," Interior Minister Efkan Ala said. "Such senseless attitudes should come to an urgent stop," he added.
Many cars, buses, bank branches, offices and political party buildings were damaged in several Turkish cities.
Primary and secondary schools in Diyarbakir and Van University were closed for a day while Hakkari University was shut for three days.
All train services between Mersin and Adana were stopped.
Ruling AK Party deputy for Diyarbakir, Mehdi Eker, said that a curfew imposed on the city would be extended. The local authorities have confirmed that the curfew will continue until 06.00 on Thursday.
Turkish Airlines canceled two scheduled flights to Diyarbakir on Wednesday.
Provincial governorates have declared curfews in several other cities, including Mardin, Van, Batman and Siirt.
Dozens of people in Turkey’s third-largest coastal city of Izmir were also detained amid protests.
An AA reporter in Turkey’s eastern province of Mus reported local officials’ claim that gunmen attacked a police station in the town of Varto.
A two-day curfew has been declared in Varto amid tensions following the death of a teenager, 17-year-old Hakan Buksur, who died in clashes in the city.
At least 30 people were also detained overnight in Turkey’s southeastern province of Sanliurfa.
The violence has erupted after more than a week of tensions caused by ISIL militants’ siege of the northern Syrian city of Kobani.
Kurdish fighters, grouped into ‘People's Protection Units’ have been holding back ISIL forces which have surrounded the city.
Turkish officials have said the country is against supporting armed PKK-offshoots in Kobani with military and financial aid, even if they are fighting against ISIL.
PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey as well as by the U.S. and the European Union.