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Turkish police fire tear gas at Kurdish protesters

AFP , Thursday 9 Jan 2014
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Turkish police on Thursday fired tear gas and plastic bullets at hundreds of demonstrators marching to the French consulate demanding justice for three female Kurdish rebels killed a year ago in Paris.

Between 500 to 600 Kurdish protesters had gathered in front of Istanbul's Galatasaray High School, shouting "We want justice" for the three victims. The motives of the triple killing remain unclear.

As the protesters marched towards the French consulate, they were met with tear gas and plastic bullets fired by security forces seeking to disperse the crowd.

The three Kurdish activists including Sakine Cansiz -- a co-founder of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), were shot to death on January 9, 2013 at the Kurdish Information Centre in Paris.

Eight days following their deaths, police arrested a 30-year-old Turkish national, Omer Guney, who was charged for the triple murder.

French authorities described him as an ethnic Kurd who had acted as an occasional driver for Cansiz.

But the PKK denied that Guney was one of its members.

Turkey has suggested that the murders bore the hallmarks of an internal feud within the PKK between opponents and supporters of peace talks.

The PKK, which is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community, launched an insurgency seeking self-rule in the southeast in 1984 that has claimed about 45,000 lives.

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