Turkish security forces will maintain peace, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, after 19 people were killed during protests by Kurds against the advance of Sunni insurgents into Syria.
The mass protests followed the advance of Islamic State militants into the Kurdish populated Kobane town in Syria, Xinhua reported.
The protests left 19 Turks dead and 145 injured, Davutoglu said Wednesday after a security meeting in Ankara.
He blamed the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) for calling Kurds of Turkey to protest, and dubbed it “vandalism” and “organised crime activity”.
On Monday, the HDP called for protests against the attack on Kobane and the Turkish government’s stance on the issue.
Kobane, also known as Ayn al-Arab, has been subject to ferocious attacks by the Sunni militants over the past two weeks.
They have succeeded in capturing hundreds of Kurdish villages around Kobane, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee.
The peace process between the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish state, which seeks to end the decades-old Kurdish insurgency, is directly connected to the developments in Kobane, the HDP said.
However, the prime minister ruled out any link between the peace process and the protests.
Turkey has been hosting nearly 20,000 Syrian Kurds, he said.