Clashes erupt on 10th year of Öcalan capture .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ANKARA - Police clashed with hundreds of stone-throwing Kurdish protesters in southern and eastern Turkey on Saturday. About 20 people were slightly injured, including seven children, according to reports.

Police used tear gas and water canons to disperse the demonstrators who were protesting the capture and jailing of the leader of the terrorist PKK organization, Abdullah Öcalan, 10 years ago, the Doğan news agency said. Police said 15 protesters were detained in the clash in the eastern province of Batman.

Batman Governor Recep Kızılcık blamed the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, or DTP. "Unfortunately, the good intentioned efforts by the security forces towards the DTP leaders were not understood." He said the intervention was legitimate because the demonstrators began to attack shops with rocks.

Similar clashes also erupted in Istanbul and the southern city of Mersin, reports said. In Istanbul, masked Kurdish protesters threw firebombs and stones at police, Doğan news agency said. No injuries were immediately reported there. Police broke up the protests when the demonstrators resisted the calls to disperse and shouted slogans in support of Öcalan ahead of yesterday’s anniversary of his capture, the state-run Anatolia news agency said.

There were clashes between demonstrators and the police in many towns in the Southeast yesterday, with the police using plastic bullets, gas and water cannons to disperse crowds while confronted with Molotov cocktails, stones and sticks. The Doğan news agency reported that Diyarbakır Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu had an angry exchange with Mayor Osman Baydemir because of the mayor’s determination to hold a rally.
A total of seven people, six of whom were police officers, were injured in Diyarbakır during the demonstrations despite the rejection of the Governor’s Office to allow it. In Batman, local shopkeepers did not open their shops yesterday, while there were clashes between the police and demonstrators in several neighborhoods. Four police officers were injured during the demonstrations in the town of İdil, with a 17-year-old demonstrator seriously injured after being hit in the eye with a gas canister. Meanwhile, the police detained three children in the Mediterranean town of Mersin during demonstrations. Many shops remained closed yesterday in the southeastern province of Hatay and the townships of Şemdinli and Yüksekova in protest against the capture of Öcalan.

Istanbul police yesterday captured a suspected bomber and five of his accomplices who were believed to be planning an attack on the anniversary of Öcalan’s capture, reported Doğan news agency. The bomb suspect was followed since he entered the country illegally from northern Iraq six weeks ago, reports said. The suspect prepared the bomb in Istanbul. Police followed the suspect and his accomplices to a police station believed to be the intended target.