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Political fallout from PKK reconciliation?

ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The reaction by Turkish opposition parties to movement toward reconciliation with Kurdish separatists is creating deep political divisions, analysts say.

Ankara pushed forward earlier this year with a political effort to resolve lingering issues with the Kurdish minority, embracing a series of cultural and political reforms.

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Meanwhile, the main separatist group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, dispatched so-called peace groups from camps in northern Iraq as part of a broader reconciliation effort.

The returns sparked criticism from Ankara and members of the public over jubilant receptions organized by the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party. Ankara responded by halting the returns.

The reaction to the reconciliation process was met with concern by analysts who say the opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, and the Nationalist Movement Party, the MHP, could be exploiting the situation, Turkey's daily Today's Zaman reports.

Yilmaz Ensaroglu, a representative with the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research, tells the daily the government should step in to prevent political disputes over reconciliation from escalating.

"I see a huge risk here and if it is not prevented, it will be a fertile ground for provocation. The CHP and the MHP may not be doing this deliberately, but their role is undeniable," said Ensaroglu. "The government has to take measures against such provocations immediately."

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