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Pro-Palestinian crowds try to storm air base housing U.S. troops in Turkey

Published 11/05/2023, 10:45 AM
Updated 11/05/2023, 01:06 PM
© Reuters. Turkish police use water cannons and tear gas to disperse Pro-Palestinian demonstrators during a protest against the U.S. and Israel near the Incirlik Air Base, which is housing U.S. troops, in Adana, southern Turkey November 5, 2023. REUTERS/Dilara Senka

By Dilara Senkaya and Mehmet Emin Caliskan

ADANA, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkish police used tear gas and water cannon as hundreds of people at a pro-Palestinian rally on Sunday tried to storm an air base that houses U.S. troops, hours before U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was due in Ankara for talks on Gaza.

Turkey, which has stepped up its criticism of Israel as the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has worsened, supports a two-state solution while hosting members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Since the Israel-Hamas war started, protests have erupted across the country.

Earlier this week, the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, an Islamist Turkish aid agency, organised a convoy to travel to the Incirlik air base in the Adana province in southern Turkey to protest Israeli attacks on Gaza and U.S. support for Israel.

Incirlik, which has been used to support the international coalition fighting Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, also houses U.S. troops. IHH's protest called for Incirlik to be closed.

Footage from the protests showed police firing tear gas and using water cannons to disperse crowds waving Turkish and Palestinian flags and chanting slogans. Protesters toppled barricades and clashed with police in riot gear.

Protesters were also seen hurling plastic chairs, rocks, and other items at police, who fired smoke bombs at crowds. Scuffles broke out between the crowds and security forces

IHH President Bulent Yildirim addressed crowds in Adana and urged them to refrain from attacking police.

"Friends, it is wrong to throw rocks or do similar things because both the police and soldiers would want to go to Gaza and fight and they will go when the time comes," he said.

© Reuters. Turkish police use water cannons and tear gas to disperse Pro-Palestinian demonstrators during a protest against the U.S. and Israel near the Incirlik Air Base, which is housing U.S. troops, in Adana, southern Turkey November 5, 2023. REUTERS/Dilara Senkaya

"Our rage is huge. We cannot hold it in. But Turkey is doing what it can," he added. IHH ended its rally earlier than planned due to the clashes with police.

The rally comes hours before Blinken is expected to arrive in Ankara for talks on Gaza with his Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan on Monday, and after repeated criticism by Ankara towards the West over support for Israel.

Latest comments

hello thank for reaching me may i know country are you chatting from
well they should have a two state solution - which arab country want the palastinians - all they have to do is open their borders - oh wait they don't want them either
 how is it, you have terrorist organizations, leading so many mid east countries - oh right extremist views
@max: Yes, I agree, but Hama's is the political administrator of Gaza, so... no two state solution until they are out of the equation.
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