Protester and soldier killed in Turkey clashes over PKK statue

People attending the funeral ceremony of Mehdi Taskin, who died during clashes between protesters and security forces during an operation to remove a statue of Mahsum Korkmazare, one of the founders of the PKK, on August 19, 2014Two people were shot dead and at least two others wounded Tuesday when Turkish security forces clashed with Kurds protesting at the dismantling of a controversial new statue of a slain PKK commander. The clashes erupted when protesters gathered at a cemetery outside the town of Lice in the Diyarbakir region of southeastern Turkey to prevent soldiers from removing the statue of Mahsum Korkmaz, a founder of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The dead demonstrator was later buried in the graveyard as thousands of mourners booed troops and shouted PKK slogans. The statue of Korkmaz, who planned the first attacks of the PKK’s insurgency seeking self-rule for Turkey’s Kurds, was unveiled on Saturday, but Turkish nationalists saw it as glorifying “terrorism” and a court swiftly ordered its demolition.

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