Kurdish leaders call for autonomy; Erdogan accuses them of treason

Reuters reports: Kurdish groups meeting in southeastern Turkey called for self-rule on Sunday amid heavy fighting in the region as the army pushed ahead with a security operation in which it says more than 200 Kurdish militants have been killed.

The Democratic People’s Congress (DTK), made up of Kurdish non-governmental organizations, made the call after a two-day meeting in Diyarbakir.

“The rightful resistance mounted by our people against the policies that degrade the Kurdish problem, is essentially a demand and struggle for local self-governance and local democracy,” said the final resolution of the meeting, titled “declaration of political resolution regarding self-rule”.

The declaration called for the formation of autonomous regions including several neighboring provinces of Diyarbakir to take account of cultural, economic and geographic affinities. [Continue reading…]

Al Jazeera reports: Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said autonomy demands from a Kurdish leader were a “clear provocation” and his political party will be “taught a lesson”.

A Turkish prosecutor opened an investigation into Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) chief Selahattin Demirtas after he made recent calls for greater Kurdish self-governance in the country’s southeast.

Erdogan’s remarks targeting Demirtas on Tuesday could further widen the gulf between the government and the Kurdish opposition as violence increases in the region.

“A certain leader … talked nonsense and what he did is a clear provocation and treason,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul before departing on a trip to Saudi Arabia, adding the HDP would be “taught a lesson by our citizens and the law”. [Continue reading…]

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