We’ve featured Benjamin Hiller before and he came back to us with this report on the Kurdish situation in Turkey. As they say, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. These are Banjamin’s images and descriptions.

The current Kurdish uprising all over Turkey after the traditional Kurdish Newroz festivity (Kurdish New Year) on the 20th of March 2011, as well as the normal living conditions of Kurdish people and refugees. The Kurdish conflict in Turkey has now been fought for more then 30 years. More than 40.000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed, several million Kurdish people are classed as Internal Displaced People in Turkey. Several thousand additional people got killed by paramilitary and right-winged Turkish groups like JITEM. Today there are still more than 4.000 political prisoners in Turkey and the clashes and fightings are going on. It is a conflict on an high level but without broad media coverage, as Turkey is in the NATO and an important partner for the EU because of is geopolitical position. All images by Benjamin Hiller and Beate Rudolph. Read more

In the last two days the situation got worse – 12 pro-Kurdish politicians where banned from the upcoming elections in June. This sparked a massive wave of protest and riots all over Turkey. In the last two days in Southeast Turkey a 18 year old boy was killed by police guns, a 15 year old boy is in coma from police life ammunition. More than 50 people got severily injured (including children), several hundred people arrested. The Kurdish people see this as a “declaration of war” of the ruling AKP party against the peaceful Kurdish civil movement.

Where: Shot in Diyarbakir, Hasankeyf and Mardin / Southeast Turkey

When: Shot in 2011 (March/April)

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

A street battle erupts in Diyarbakir after the call for a civil uprising. Since the uprising more than 600 people got arrested, one 15 year old boy shot and several hundred people injured. Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Kurdish activist engaging a water gun in Diyarbakir Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Kurdish activist with an Öcalan Flag. Öcalan is the founder of the Kurdish Guerilla group PKK Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Masked Kurdish activist during the street battles. In the background smoke from burning barricades can be seen Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

A so called Kurdish Peace Mother engages the police forces and gets pushed away Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Kurdish activists flee on a truck from the battle place Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

A man walks through the streets of Diyarbakir, behind him gas grenades explode Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

A military riot police shoots a gas grenade towards demonstrators Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

A man walks out of a massive cloud of tear gas at the Peace Park in Diyarbakir. The park was attacked via military helicopters. They threw military gas bombs onto the ground. Dozens of people collapsed. Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

The man collapses outside the gas cloud. Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

A women and her daughter in the side streets of Diyarbakir. The mother shows the PKK sign. Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

A Turkish riot police with an machine gun holds back Kurdish demonstrators Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Kurdish children during another day of street battle in Diyarbakir Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Kurdish youth and children during a street blockade Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Kurdish activist during the street battles of Diyarbakir Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Elderly men during a street blockade in Diyarbakir Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

A boy shows the PKK sign in front of riot police forces Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Old Kurdish men show the PKK sign during a street blockade Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Kurdish refugees in the slum of Aziziye in Diyarbakir Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Children, some showing already the PKK sign, in the IDP slum Aziziye in Diyarbakir

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

A family at Hasankey. The city of Hasankeyf is endangered by getting flooded due the building of a dam. The Kurdish population protests regularly against this state project. Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

A masked Kurdish activist during the Newroz festivity in Hasankeyf Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

A Kurdish women, masked and in traditional Kurdish clothing, during Newroz in Diyarbakir. More than one million Kurdish people attended Newroz in Diyarbakir, making it a big political statement Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Newroz in Diyarbakir Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Newroz in Diyarbakir Photo by Benjamin Hiller

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Kurdish demonstrators attack Turkish police water guns with Molotov cocktails in Diyarbakir Photo by Beate Rudolph

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

A shot from inside the BDP (Kurdish Party for Peace and Democracy) Election bus, which got attacked by police forces in Diyarbakir Photo by Beate Rudolph

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

A wounded Kurdish activists is brought away from the scuffles in Diyarbakir Photo by Beate Rudolph

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Kurdish people inspect the destroyed BDP bus in Diyarbakir Photo by Beate Rudolph

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Kurdish activists with Molotov cocktails and fire crackers Photo by Beate Rudolph

The Kurdish Conflict In Turkey

Police forces attack Kurdish activists which gathered around the BDP party building in Diyarbakir Photo by Beate Rudolph