[Europe][Turkey][Kurd][Conflict] - The Economist - 2012.03.24

[Europe][Turkey][Kurd][Conflict] - The Economist - 2012.03.24

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Rebellious days A fresh wave of protests shows how far Turkey is from pacifying its Kurds “FROM here on we must stop serving in the Turkish army, paying taxes and using the Turkish language.  A new phase has begun.” The call for defiance came from Murat Karayilan, the top field commander of  the rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). He issued it after another spate of bloody clashes in the  predominantly Kurdish south-east. The unrest was sparked on March 18th when, in defiance of a government ban, tens of thousands of  Kurds massed in the streets of Istanbul and Diyarbakir to celebrate the Kurdish new year (Nowruz). One  Kurdish politician and a Turkish policeman died, hundreds of Kurds were arrested and many others were  wounded as riot police, backed by helicopters and armoured personnel-carriers fired tear gas to disperse  the crowds. In Batman, Ahmet Turk, a revered Kurdish politician and a heart patient, was punched in the  face by a policeman and taken to hospital. “Was it a holiday or a war? I couldn’t tell,” said Arif Arslan, who  runs  Batman Cagdas , a daily newspaper.
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