World Bulletin / News Desk
Nevruz, a spring festival traditionally marked in the second half of March with a highly symbolic meaning for Kurds in Turkey and the Middle East, began to be celebrated peacefully across various Turkish cities on Sunday.
In a departure from the violent incidents that have taken place in previous years, there has been no violence in this year's Nevruz celebrations in İstanbul's Zeytinburnu district organized by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).
Hundreds of people who gathered in Zeytinburnu were allowed into the celebration area after they were checked by security personnel. The crowd later began celebrating Nevruz with traditional Kurdish folk songs and dances.
The Nevruz celebrations commenced in 18 provinces on Sunday, including İstanbul, Adana, Ankara and Mersin, all of which have large Kurdish populations.
The BDP will next hold celebrations in 45 other provinces across Turkey before March 21. However, the only Nevruz event that will take place on that day -- the specific day of Nevruz -- will be in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
Independent Mardin deputy Ahmet Türk, who was among the first group of deputies to visit the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as part of the current peace talks, has said he expects commanders of the militant PKK to declare a cease-fire against Turkish security forces before March 21.Last Mod: 17 Mart 2013, 12:57