Kurdish groups call for self-rule in southeast Turkey
Female relatives mourn during the funeral of Medeni Orak, killed in a sweeping Turkish military offensive in the southeastern city of Nusaybin, on December 24, 2015, in Mardin province. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)
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Kurdish groups in southeastern Turkey are calling for self-rule.
It follows a summit of the Democratic People’s Congress (DTK), a coalition of non-governmental Kurdish groups, and comes as heavy fighting continues in the region.
The army is pushing ahead with a security operation in which it says more than 200 Kurdish militants have been killed.
“To form a democratic autonomous region including one or several neighbouring provinces, one needs to take into account their cultural, economic and geographic affinities,” said Hatip Dicle, Leader of Kurdish Democratic People’s Congress.
The final resolution of the meeting called for the formation of autonomous Kurdish regions, including several neighbouring provinces.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu cancelled a planned meeting with the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) leader Selahattin Demirtas, on Saturday, saying its politics were rooted in violence.
For three decades, Ankara has been trying to end an insurgency by fighters from the Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK – classified by the EU and US as a "terrorist" organization.
A two-year ceasefire fell apart in July, plunging the southeast back into a conflict that has killed more than 40-thousand people.