Turkey police, Kurdish protesters clash in Cizre

Turkish police and Kurdish protesters have clashed during the funeral of a Kurdistan Workers' Party member in the southeastern province of Sirnak. Police used water cannons and smoke grenades to disperse the angry crowd in the city of Cizre on Saturday night. Protesters also threw petrol bombs and fireworks at armored police vehicle. There have been no reports of injuries or arrests. The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) launched an insurgency in southeastern Turkey in 1984 to claim self-rule in the region. The related violence has killed thousands of people from both sides. Turkey and its Western allies, the United States in particular, have put PKK on their list of terrorist groups. Last March, the PKK announced a ceasefire following months of clandestine talks with the Turkish spy agency. Later in September, however, the PKK put on hold their withdrawal from the Turkish soil and the peace process stopped. They accused the Turkish government of failing to deliver on promised reforms. Ankara formally submitted a package of reforms to parliament in December in an attempt to enhance the rights of the Kurdish community. The package was rejected by the Kurds. They demand the release of Kurdish prisoners and political activists, the lifting of restrictions on Kurdish-language education in state schools and reducing the ten-percent election threshold required to secure seats in the 550-seat parliament. The locked-up PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, later described the time as appropriate for legal arrangements to be made to speed up the process, which has been dragging for various reasons. http:/ ctualidad.rt.com/

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