It was a typical early summer day in Yuksekova, a town of 60,000 people in Turkey's southeastern corner. The sun was out, the rivers were running fast with snowmelt, and there was a riot on.
Usually crowded, the town's main street was completely empty on May 18. Heavily protected police cars roared up and down, spraying water from cannons on their roofs. Young men and children taunted them from side alleys. Apart from revving engines, the only sounds were the clank of stones hitting the armored police vehicles.
For the second day in a row earlier this week, all Yuksekova's shops - excluding two or three bakeries – had been forced to close. The tradesmen were angry.
"It is the 10th time I have had to pull down my shutters since the beginning of the year," complained Murat, the owner of a building business that is successful by Yuksekova standards. "This town has gone out of control, and it is ruining people like me."
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Nicolas Birch is a reporter who specializes in Turkey, Iran and the Middle East.