As a critical Kurdish on the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border is on the verge of falling to a final ISIS push, Kurds throughout Turkey and the rest of Europe are demonstrating against the lack of assistance being provided to blunt the jihadist advance.
The Kurdish city of Kobane, located within sight of the Turkish border, has been besieged by ISIS for the past three weeks. In recent days, ISIS forces have pushed into the town, engaging in building-to-building street fighting.
Despite US airstrikes, the militants have managed to displace 160,000 Kurds who have fled across the border into Turkey.
As Kobane slowly falls to ISIS forces, Turkish soldiers and tanks positioned on the border have looked on without offering any assistance.
This lack of aid to help Kobane, particularly from Turkey, have sparked massive protests throughout major cities in Turkey and Europe. The lack of Turkish aid has also emboldened the PKK, a Turkey-based Kurdish separatist organisation that the US, EU, and Turkey have designated as a terrorist organisation. The group is now threatening to renew attacks within Turkey in the midst of a tenuous peace process.
The ruling Turkish AK Party has spent considerable political capital during its time in office in an attempt to reach a political settlement with the PKK. Fighting between the separatist organisation and the Turkish government has left more than 40,000 people dead since 1984.
In Mardin, a city in Turkey along the Syrian border predominantly inhabited by Kurds and Arabs, protestors have destroyed a bust of Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.
Protests have also engulfed the province of Sirnak, which borders both Iraq and Syria.
In Istanbul, about 400 people have gathered in front of the the government offices of the ruling AK Party in the Avcilar neighbourhood.
In Adana, the fifth-largest city in Turkey and the site of the US’s Incirlik Air Base, clashes have turned violent as Kurds have barricaded streets.
In Izmir, Turkey’s third-largest city and among the most progressive in the country, Kurds have taken to the streets in huge numbers as well.
Kurds in European cities have staged peaceful sit-ins demanding that action be taken against ISIS in Kobane.
A Kurdish flag has even appeared in Mecca, Saudi Arabia as Muslims participate in the hajj.
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