Turkey's PM calls for national unity after DTP ban

Erdogan said he will address parliament later on Monday to discuss in detail the ban on the Democratic Society Party.

Turkey's PM calls for national unity after DTP ban

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Monday called for national unity after a court ruling banning a main Kurdish party sparked violent clashes.

Turkey's Constitutional Court on Friday ruled in favour of banning the only Kurdish party in parliament after it found it guilty of links with PKK militants.

In his first comments since the verdict was delivered, Erdogan told reporters when asked about the government's plans to push reforms aimed at ending decades of conflict with PKK: "We will overcome these problems as long as our nation is united and in solidarity."

Erdogan said he will address parliament later on Monday to discuss in detail the ban on the Democratic Society Party (DTP).

The verdict, threatens to undermine Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party's drive to reconcile Kurds with the state and end decades of conflict.

The closure of the party prompted three days of violent street protests, mainly in the south east but also in the heart of Istanbul's shopping and entertainment district on Sunday.

DTP deputies have threatened to quit parliament, a move that could force new elections in Kurdish districts.

PKK militants on Thursday claimed responsibility for the killing of seven Turkish soldiers in an ambush in northern Turkey this week.

The government's planned pro-Kurdish reforms include the creation of an independent body to investigate cases of torture by security forces in the southeast as well as further loosen restrictions on the Kurdish language.

Analysts fear the ban on DTP would strengthen the hand of the militant PKK by undermining confidence in the democratic process and the government's current reform initiative.


Agencies

Last Mod: 14 Aralık 2009, 15:43
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