Kurds hold protest outside Turkish embassy


Hawre Kane at the protest out side the Turkish embassy earlier today. Photograph: Piaras Murphy.

Kurdish demonstrators held a protest outside the Turkish embassy in Dublin today to condemn the "cruel and oppressive" treatment of Kurds in Turkey.

The demonstration, organised by Kurdish Solidarity Ireland, which represents the Kurdish community in Ireland, aimed to highlight the plight of the Kurds living in southern Turkey.

Around 45 protesters with placards and chanting slogans gathered outside the Turkish embassy on Clyde Road in Ballsbridge.

Bajalan Hamed, originally from northern Iraq but now living in Knocklyon, Co Dublin, told ireland.com: "We don't want Turkey to join the EU until the Kurdish people get their freedom.

"The Turkish government doesn't believe in democracy. It has two faces. The one it shows to the EU and the one it shows to us. We have no human rights and no democracy. They're just killing the people," said Mr Hamed.

Another of the organisers, Hawre Kane, said: "It's very important to say something about freedom. It's very important to say to people that we're human. We're asking the people of Ireland to support us. We just want our freedom."

A second demonstration will be held outside the Iranian embassy in Blackrock, Co Dublin, later this afternoon to highlight the plights of Kurds living in that country.

The Kurds have been seeking an independent nation-state since they were first promised one in the 1920 treaty of Sevres between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire after World War 1.

The borders of Kurdistan are difficult to define, however, as the area covers part of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Armenia.

Some estimates put the Kurdish population at around 25 million.