ISTANBUL (dpa) – Kurds in Turkey have taken to the streets to celebrate the recapture of Kobane from Islamic State extremists, in some cases clashing with police who tried to break up the festivities.
The Kurds declared Kobane, in northern Syria, a semi-independent canton on January 27, 2014, and are set to mark the first anniversary on Tuesday.
Syrian-Kurdish fighters from the People’s Pro-tection Units (YPG) on Monday declared victory in the northern Syrian city, which has taken on immense symbolic importance for both sides in the battle.
Thousands of people took to the streets of Diyarbakir, the largest Kurdish city in southeas-tern Turkey, according to social media activists.
The revellers set off fireworks and waved flags of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is linked to the YPG.
In Istanbul, Kurds gathered on Istiklal Avenue, the main shopping street in the centre of the city, to sing, dance and bang on drums, shouting: “Kurdistan will be the graveyard of ISIL”, using an acrynom for the militants.
Police broke up the protest, threatening to use water cannons and tear gas.