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 Divisions among Kurds in Turkey?

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Divisions among Kurds in Turkey?  11.11.2011  

November 11, 2011

ANKARA, — Members of the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party claim pro-Kurdish lawmakers aren't doing enough to support their cause, Turkish police said.

A report prepared by the Turkish National Police Departments concluded that members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by its Kurdish initials PKK, are frustrated with the lack of support from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Development Party, or BDP.

PKK members are upset the BDP wasn't able to defend pro-Kurdish citizens accused of supporting the Kurdish Communities Union KCK, a Kurdish organization that includes the PKK, Turkish daily newspaper Today's Zaman reports.      

Demonstrators wave yellow Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) flags (L) and display outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) banners during a protest against the High Election Board's decision in central Istanbul April 19, 2011. Photo: Reuters
KCK-trial, on October 18, 2010 a Turkish court began the trial of 152 high profile Kurdish politicians and rights defenders, accused of being the urban wing of the outlawed separatist Kurdish PKK rebels.

Over 7748 people were taken into custody and 3895 persons were arrested in the scope of KCK operations during the past six months [Till October 2011], the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party announced. Dozens of BDP executives and employees are still in prison.

The PKK further complained the BDP wasn't established in the pro-Kurdish southern province of Diyarbakir, where several arrests occurred.  

Kurdish leaders in Iraq have complained that Turkish military efforts to handle the PKK's insurgency were counterproductive. A move to settle simmering issues with the Kurdish minority was upended in 2009 when a court banned the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party from politics because of alleged ties to the PKK, however.

Ankara announced last month it was deploying unmanned aerial systems over its southern regions to patrol the movement of Kurdish rebels in the area. The Turkish Parliament recently approved a measure that sanctioned cross-border raids to take on elements of PKK.

Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been fighting the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a Kurdish state in the south east of the country, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous Kurdish region and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey, numbering more than 20 million. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees, lifting the ban on education in Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey, reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action against the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish constitution.

Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish language and private Kurdish language courses with the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish politicians say the measures fall short of their expectations.

The PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union's terror list. 

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