Turkey stifles anti-Syria operation protests after Erdogan warning

Syrian-Kurds march during a protest in support of Afrin on January 18, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 22 January 2018

Turkey stifles anti-Syria operation protests after Erdogan warning

ISTANBUL: Turkish anti-riot police on Sunday blocked protests in Istanbul and the Kurdish-majority southeast against Ankara’s military operation inside Syria.
At least seven people were detained in Kadikoy on the Asian side of Istanbul, an AFP photographer at the scene reported.
One protester was seen with his hands tied behind by the police officers with others were carried roughly away.
The rally had been called by the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), whose members are facing a series of legal challenges for alleged ties with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The police action followed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s warning of a “heavy price” for anyone joining protests against the Turkish army’s operation to oust Syrian Kurdish militia from northern Syria.
It came a day after Turkey launched its operation with Ankara-backed Syrian rebels to root out the Syrian Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) militia from Afrin.
Turkey views the YPG militia as “terrorists” linked to the PKK, which has fought against the Turkish state since 1984 and is designated as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.
In the Kurdish-majority southeastern city of Diyarbakir, police also blocked a protest, surrounding the HDP headquarters and preventing party officials from making a press declaration, an AFP journalist in the city reported.
“People in Afrin will defend themselves. Turks ... will not gain anything, it is impossible. I call on the international community ... to stop Turkey,” protester Hakki Karagoz said.


Bashir defense asks Sudan court for bail release

Updated 41 min 43 sec ago

Bashir defense asks Sudan court for bail release

  • Bashir, wearing a traditional white gown, sat in the same metal cage he appeared in on Monday when his trial on graft charges opened
  • The former Sudanese leader is also wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague over his role in mass killings in the western region of Darfur

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s deposed military ruler Omar Al-Bashir appeared in court Saturday for the second hearing of his corruption trial, during which his defense asked for his release on bail.
Bashir, wearing a traditional white gown, sat in the same metal cage he appeared in on Monday when his trial on graft charges opened.
The judge in Khartoum Saturday heard three witnesses, two of them investigators who searched Bashir’s residency after his ouster and the other a banker.
“We ask the court to release the accused on bail,” Bashir’s lawyer Hashem Abu Bakr said, to which the judge answered he would examine a written request.
After the hearing, as a massive security convoy escorted the 75-year-old Bashir back to prison, two opposing groups of demonstrators had gathered.
One group of a few dozen protesters were chanting slogans for Bashir to face justice not just over corruption but for his role in the the country’s deadly conflicts.
“Bashir is a killer” and “He has to face justice,” chanted some of the demonstrators.
Another smaller group had turned out in support of the deposed Islamist general, who was forced from power by relentless protests in April after 30 years in power.
While the sight of Bashir sitting inside a cage in a courtroom was unthinkable only months ago, many in Sudan and abroad have warned that this trial should not distract from the more serious indictments he faces.
The former Sudanese leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague over his role in mass killings in the western region of Darfur.