00:02 GMT +323 November 2019
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    People react as smoke billows from burning pallets set on fire during clashes between Turkish riot policemen and Kurdish protesters in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir on November 1, 2015.

    Russia Urges Turkey to Solve Kurdish Issue by Political Means, Avoid Force

    © AFP 2019 / Bulent Kilic
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    Moscow urges Ankara to resolve its disagreements with Kurds through political dialogue.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Turkish authorities should solve its disagreements with the Kurds by political means and avoid the use of force, Russia's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

    "We are concerned by the escalation of violence in southeastern Turkey, caused by Turkish authorities' ongoing military operation in Kurdish provinces. Human rights groups report numerous civilian victims, including women and children," the ministry said in a statement.

    "The solution to the Kurdish issue lies in the political arena. The use of force in internal conflicts only leads to new victims and an escalation of tensions with unpredictable consequences," the statement reads.

    The ministry noted active curfews, transportation bans, as well as access denials for reporters, politicians and humanitarian groups, citing various estimates as saying over 100,000 people have fled southeastern Turkey.

    Moscow called on the resumption of a peace process suspended in July amid a wave of deadly attacks claimed by both Daesh (Islamic State) and the insurgent Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Ankara stepped up a military campaign against PKK over the summer following the attacks.

    The Kurdish minority's strained relations with Turkey have deteriorated further after government officials labeled a senior pro-Kurdish party official a traitor for visiting Moscow last week to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    Human Rights Watch, following reports by local rights groups of over 100 civilian deaths among Kurdish civilians, urged the Turkish government last week to stop the "abusive and disproportionate" use of force against the minority group.

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    Kurds, Russian Foreign Ministry, Turkey, Russia
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