Little sympathy in Istanbul for Kurds amid ISIS aggression

France 24 reports: On the streets of Istanbul Saturday, there was little sympathy for the few pro-Kurd protesters who turned out to demonstrate against Ankara’s reluctance to help the besieged Kurdish-Syrian city of Kobane.

In downtown Istanbul, the bars are full and the shopping district is teeming with young people. Meanwhile in front of the imposing gates of the Galatassaray High School, a riot-control tank engine idles noisily, surrounded by riot police carrying sticks and shields.

Every night for the last five days, scores of pro-Kurd demonstrators have answered the call of the Popular Democratic Party (HDP), the main (legally-recognised) Kurdish party, to demand greater support for the Syrian town of Kobane, whose Kurdish population is under siege by fighters belonging to the Islamic State (IS) group.

Looking on, 32-year-old Can is not impressed. “It’s absurd that they are protesting here,” he tells FRANCE 24. “What happens in the east should stay in the east.”

In other words: what happens to the Kurds – the ethnic group that dominates the east of the country – should stay with the Kurds. [Continue reading…]

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