Turkish security forces have killed one person as they fired shots to disrupt a group of protesters in the Kurdish-dominated southeastern Turkey, according to Turkish officials.
Nine people were wounded, two of them seriously, in Friday’s incident, a statement by the governor of the southeastern city of Diyarbakir also said.
Protesters were demonstrating against construction of a new army outpost at an area close to Kayacik village in Diyarbakir.
The incident was the first death in the last six months after the talks between Turkish intelligence agency and Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), were initiated to end the almost 30-year-long conflict.
The army opened fire after few hundred protesters torched construction tents and marched on the construction site, hurling stones and molotov cocktails at security forces, said Diyarbakir governor Cahit Kirac.
“All those demonstrators were unarmed villagers,” said Gulten Kisanak, a pro-Kurdish MP, condemning the authorities’ deadly intervention.
“It is a clear murder, a massacre attempt, a heinous provocation to open fire on villagers.”
‘Gezi Park incidents’
Huseyin Celik, spokesman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), told reporters on Friday that there were elements trying to “create the Kurdish version of the Gezi Park incidents”, referring to the recent country-wide anti-government protests.
Celik also said that some people were “annoyed” by the fact that “there were no deaths because of clashes” in the southeast region of the country.
The Turkish government announced at the end of 2012 it would negotiate with the PKK.
Since then, the country has made some progress towards a settlement, including a ceasefire, contact between the PKK leadership in Northern Iraq and Ocalan through letters carried by Kurdish MPs.
But that progress has been slowed down by the recent anti-government demonstrations that started in late May and went on for three weeks.