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Turkish Kurds vow parliamentary boycott

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Kurdish lawmakers say they will boycott Turkish Parliament to protest a court ruling banning the nation's main Kurdish party.

The Constitutional Court unanimously banned the Democratic Society Party, DPT, for being a "focal point for terrorism," the judges said in a ruling Friday.

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DPT co-chairs Ahmet Turk and Aysel Tugluk were stripped of their parliamentary seats and banned from political activity for five years. Another three dozen party members and leaders were also banned from political activity for five years, CNN reported Sunday.

Nineteen remaining DPT members of Parliament could retain their seats with another political affiliation.Turk said those parliamentarians planned a boycott but did not intend to resign, CNN said.

The Kurds, Turkey's largest ethnic minority with more then 12 million people, for decades have pressed for greater involvement in Turkey's political process.

Banning the DPT will have a "major psychological effect" on Kurds who believe they have been excluded from a Democratic process, said Dogu Ergil, a political science professor at Ankara University.

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