Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters marched on a Turkish air base where American troops are stationed. The police used water cannons.
The protest outside Incirlik Air Base in southeastern Turkey was organized by the IHH humanitarian fund, which led a “Peace Flotilla” into the Gaza Strip in 2010. An AFP photographer said police intervened when the crowd started moving towards the base after a peace rally in Incirlik.
March to the US air base. Intervention of the Turkish police
Photos posted on social media show several hundred people waving Palestinian flags and being chased by police, who also used water cannons. There were no reports of injuries or arrests. American officials did not comment on the incident.
The base on the Mediterranean coast is owned by Turkey but used by the United States Air Force and occasionally the British Royal Air Force, giving them strategic access to much of the Middle East.
The IHH protest coincided with the visit to Ankara of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was scheduled to arrive in the country late Sunday and meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Monday.
Protests in Ankara and Marseille
Nearly 1,000 people also gathered in front of the US Embassy in Ankara on Sunday. Meanwhile, in France, thousands of people marched in southern Marseille in support of the Palestinians and calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
Turkey, a NATO member, has been hit by weeks of sporadic protests since Israel went to war with Hamas last month.
Israel is trying to crush the militants who carried out the deadliest attack in the country’s history on October 7, killing more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and taking 240 hostages, according to Israeli officials.