Turkey’s Erdogan: “clear provocation” from pro-Kurdish HDP leader

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Turkey’s president condemns a call by the leader of the pro-Kurdish HDP party to give Turkish Kurds more autonomy, as the government continues a crackdown on Kurdish militants. Diane Hodges reports.

Turkey’s Erdogan: “clear provocation” from pro-Kurdish HDP leader

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is condemning calls by the head of a pro-Kurdish political party to give Turkish Kurds greater autonomy.

(SOUNDBITE (Turkish) TURKISH PRESIDENT, TAYYIP ERDOGAN, SAYING:

“How dare you talk about establishing a state in the east and southeast of Turkey.”

Erdogan says the comments by Selahattin Demirtas, were a clear provocation, and vows that Demirtas’ H-D-P party “will be taught a lesson.”

(NAT OF TANKS FIRING)

And it’s not just a war of words.

Thousands of Turkish troops are in the midst of a military operation around the mainly Kurdish city of Cizre in southeastern Turkey

They’re trying to root out members of the outlawed Kurdish group, P-K-K who are also seeking more autonomy.

But Kurdish leaders say the campaign is killing civilians.

(NAT OF PROTESTS)

Demonstrators are protesting the offensive, and the round-the-clock curfews that the military has imposed on many areas.

Turkey has stepped up security operations in the Kurdish region since peace talks with the P-K-K collapsed last July.

The latest comments by Turkey’s president could widen the gulf between the two sides even further.

Tags : leader, Prokurdish, from, Provocation, clear, Erdogan, Turkeys

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