Turkish official accuses pro-Kurdish party of fueling ethnic conflict
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 3
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc accused the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party of inciting ethnic conflict, the Milliyet newspaper reported March 3.
Earlier, the party's leader, Selahattin Demirtas called on Kurds to mass protests, accusing the Turkish government in using democratic solution to the Kurdish problem to gain votes in parliamentary election scheduled for June.
Arinc said that Demirtas is insincere in matters related to the Kurdish problem.
"Turkish authorities hope the Peoples' Democratic Party will not damage the process of democratic solution to the Kurdish problem," he added.
The conflict between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which demands the creation of an independent Kurdish state, has continued for over 25 years and has claimed more than 40,000 lives.
The UN and the European Union listed PKK as a terrorist organization.
The process of democratic settlement to the Kurdish problem in Turkey kicked off in 2009, following which a part of the PKK militants left the country's territory and moved to the neighboring Iraq.
Turkish authorities expect that the PKK militants will completely leave Turkey by March 21 this year.
Edited by SI
Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu