16:35 GMT +321 February 2018
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    In this Thursday Jan. 29, 2015 photo, fighters of the Turkey-based Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) walk in the damaged streets of Sinjar, Iraq

    'Turkey Uses Kurdish Issue to Radicalize People and Consolidate Power'

    © AP Photo/ Bram Janssen
    Middle East
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    Violent clashes continue between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants in southeastern Turkey.

    A car bomb rammed into a military base in Diyarbakir province, killing one soldier and injuring twenty others. The incident occurred just hours after the country’s ministers adjourned in the neighboring Sanliurfa province to discuss ways of rebuilding the region’s shattered economy.

    Prime Minister Ahment Davutoglu chaired the cabinet meeting which was held outside the country’s capital for the first time since 2003.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish army reported that it killed thirty nine members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party also known as the PKK in clashes in four towns across the region over the weekend.

    The casualties add to a death toll that has risen sharply since the collapse of a ceasefire between the warring parties last July.

    Thousands of militants as well as hundreds of civilians and soldiers have been killed in the clashes so far. Radio Sputnik discussed relations between Turkey and the Kurds with Ari Murad, a Kurdish human rights activist.

    “Turkey’s very strict nationalist agenda included the persecution of Armenians and Kurds. In 2015 when a general election was held the pro-Kurdish party protests through a democratic and peaceful means but the Turkish authorities started taking out journalists and anybody who was a threat to the AKP.”

    Since then there has been violence and persecution of the Kurds. The human rights activist raised the question as to how Turkey gets away with such actions.

    “Turkey has a population inside Turkey but it is also bombing the Kurds in Northern Iraq, South Kurdistan. It is also funding jihadists in West Kurdistan and Syria. While at the same time, telling European democratic states how they should implement their media in censoring certain news. They censor it in Turkey and are telling Europeans how they should behave,” Murad said.

    The analyst further spoke about the Kurdistan region, talking about how the villages are in need of better infrastructure and educational institutions. He spoke about how Kurds don’t feel any support from the center government in Ankara and how they are in dire need of development of their region.

    “Kurds in Turkey don’t want independence, contrary to what Turkish media has been portraying. Kurds want autonomy.”

    Murad also discussed the martial law that Turkey had implemented in the Kurdistan region and how the area is still being attacked and people are suffering.

    “It is a complete military crackdown on the Kurds and we believe that they are just trying to radicalize the next generation to distract the Turkish people from the economic problems and to let the AKP and Erdogan consolidate more and more power. To become an autocracy. It is all to consolidate power,” the analyst said.

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    Tags:
    Turkish Kurds, mass killings, autonomy, militants, clashes, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey
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