Turkish Kurds Demand Self-Rule in Southeast

PM Cancels Planned Meeting With Opposition Party

With the Turkish military continuing to escalate its violent crackdown on the ethnic Kurdish southeast, a Kurdish NGO coalition called the Democratic People’s Congress (DTK) has ended an emergency meeting calling for “local self-governance and local democracy” in the southeast.

The call isn’t sitting well with the Erdogan government, which has vowed to “cleanse” the region of secessionist PKK fighters, and President Erdogan reiterated this weekend that Turkey would “never allow” an independent state to form out of its territory.

And while the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) had nothing to do with the DTK, its political base is overwhelmingly in the southeast, and that was enough for Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to cancel planned talks with them, saying the opposition was “rooted in violence.”

The ruling AKP has long been hostile toward the HDP, which is more favorable to ethnic minorities than the government generally is, and the recent visit of an HDP leader to Moscow despite the ruling party’s growing hostility toward Russia has only added to that.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.