Ankara to address Kurdish question

May 12, 2009 at 3:30 PM
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ANKARA, Turkey, May 12 (UPI) -- Ankara is examining a series of conciliatory measures meant to address mounting challenges posed by Kurdish separatists in the region.

Last week, 44 members of an engagement party in the village of Bilge in southeast Turkey were killed in a raid led by gunmen reportedly belonging to a state-run militia charged with providing protection against Kurdish rebels.

Sources speaking to Today's Zaman, a Turkish daily, said Ankara was moving to enact sweeping legislation meant to alleviate ongoing problems stemming from the so-called Kurdish question.

Hurriyet reports that Ankara is considering lifting some restrictions on pro-Kurdish television broadcasts, facilitating militant reconciliation measures and providing relocation assistance to internally displaced persons.

The Kurdish reform measures come on the heels a modest upset of the ruling Justice and Development Party, which lost out to pro-Kurdish groups in the March 29 municipal elections.

Meanwhile, conflicts between rebels with the Kurdistan Workers' Party and what are believed to be Iranian soldiers continued in the north of Iraq.

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