Protests erupted across Turkey on Thursday in response to the country’s military actions in North and East Syria, initiated on 4 October. The demonstrations spanned from Ankara to Diyarbakır and were met with heavy police resistance, leading to multiple arrests.

Turkey’s military actions in North and East Syria sparked widespread protests on Thursday, stretching from the capital Ankara to the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakır (Amed). The sweeping wave of civil unrest was met with heavy police resistance, resulting in numerous arrests and confrontations.

The protests come after a surge in military operations initiated on 4 October, which have reportedly targeted residential areas in North and East Syria and led to significant civilian casualties.

In Ankara, pro-Kurdish Green Left Party MP Halide Türkoğlu joined forces with various political parties and civil society organisations to voice their dissent. However, police cordoned off the area, preventing public statements and obstructing journalists from covering the event.

Tunceli (Dêrsim) saw members of the Labour and Democracy Platform face police aggression as they attempted to make a public statement. Key figures, including the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Provincial Co-chairs Nazlı Çelik and Ferhat Yıldız, were detained by the Turkish police.

In Urfa (Riha), a “governorate ban” was cited by police as the reason for preventing a gathering planned by the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), the HDP and the Green Left Party. International youths who had arrived from various European countries to participate were also detained.

Mardin (Mêrdîn) witnessed Green Left Party MPs Kamuran Tanhan, Beritan Güneş and George Aslan join a protest in front of the HDP provincial building. They highlighted the war crimes being committed and urged the public to resist the attacks.

Similar scenes unfolded in Mersin, Adana, and Şırnak (Şırnex), where police used force to disperse crowds and prevent public statements. Journalists were targeted, and their equipment confiscated.