Page last updated at 22:46 GMT, Saturday, 14 February 2009

Clashes at Turkish Ocalan rally

Police fire water cannon on crowd in Batman, Turkey, 14 Feburary 2009
Authorities used water cannons to disperse the crowd

Police in Turkey have broken up a demonstration marking the 10th anniversary of the arrest of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Security forces reportedly used tear gas, truncheons and water cannons to disperse hundreds of people in the south-eastern city of Batman.

Protesters threw stones at police and chanted pro-Kurdish slogans, officials and news reports said.

Fifteen people were detained, and at least a dozen suffered minor injuries.

Protesters chanted their support for Mr Ocalan's movement, the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The PKK has fought for an independent Kurdish state within Turkey since 1984.

It is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the EU and the US.

Mr Ocalan was sentenced to death for treason, but this was later commuted to life imprisonment.

He is being held in solitary confinement as the sole inhabitant of a prison island in the sea of Marmara.

In Batman, police had reportedly warned demonstrators to disperse because the protest was unauthorised.

Clashes were also reported in Istanbul and the southern city of Mersin.

A demonstration to mark the anniversary was also held outside the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

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