Pro-Palestinian protesters try to storm US military base in Turkey
Hundreds of people clashed with police outside the airbase in Turkey.
Clashes erupted outside the Incirlik Air Base in the southern city of Adana earlier today as several hundred people gathered outside to show solidarity with Gazans suffering under Israel’s bombardments.
Footage circulating on social media showed them running across a muddy field, waving Turkish and Palestinian flags.
Reports said the crowd tried to break into the base, where the US Air Force 39th Air Wing Command is stationed, demanding its closure.
Protesters toppled barricades, throwing plastic chairs and rocks at Turkish police outside.
Officers in riot gear stood firm, using their batons in close clashes and deploying the power of water cannons and tear gas against the crowd.
Videos show people running away in the opposite direction and trying to protect themselves from the stream of water.
The rally was organised by the IHH humanitarian relief fund, a Turkish aid agency, just hours before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was due in Ankara for talks on the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.
IHH president Bulent Yildirim addressed crowds in Adana, urging 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.
‘Our rage is huge. We cannot hold it in. But Turkey is doing what it can,’ he added.
IHH ended the rally earlier than planned due to the clashes with police.
Turkey, which has stepped up its criticism of Israel as the crisis across Gaza only worsens by the hour, supports a two-state solution while hosting members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Since the conflict began almost a month ago and as the civilian death toll climbs on, protests have erupted across the country.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly lashed out at the US for supporting the Israeli operation, which he has compared to ‘genocide’.
He led a massive rally in Istanbul last month that he said was attended by 1.5 million people, calling Israel an ‘occupier’ that was acting like a ‘war criminal’.
Turkey also said on Saturday it was recalling its ambassador to Israel for consultations and breaking off contacts with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Erdogan holds personally responsible for the civilian toll.
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