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Tens of thousands protest in Turkey against Kurdish violence

September 20, 2015

ISTANBUL (AP) — Tens of thousands of flag-waving demonstrators rallied in central Istanbul on Sunday to denounce violence by Kurdish rebels as the country’s prime minister pledged damnation for the separatists.

Speakers condemned terrorism and the violence which has rocked Turkey since the resumption of fighting between the military and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. The separatist group is considered a terror organization by the Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.

At the rally, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu roared into the microphone as Turkish flags waved.

“Yes, those who want to divide this country, those who want to separate this country by wrecking it, may they be damned!” he said. “God willing, they will be damned.”

The protest was held under the banner: “Millions of breaths. One voice against terror” and was widely promoted across the city. The protests took place under heavy police protection, including sharpshooters, and searches at the entrance.

The rally featured a video montage of, among other things, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan set to stirring music.