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Turkey's Davutoglu cheered for speaking Kurdish in Iraq

Turkey's foreign minister, whose government has long been at odds with Kurdish nationalists at home and abroad, drew cheers Tuesday when he opened a speech in Iraq using the Kurdish language. "I am happy to be at the forum in Sulaimaniyah," Ahmet Davutoglu said in Kurdish to a gathering of academics and politicians at the American University of Iraq in the autonomous Kurdistan region's second city of Sulaimaniyah. The fact he used Kurdish, a language rarely spoken by Turkish politicians, drew raucous applause and cheers from the crowd.

Turkey spy agency denies role in Paris murder of Kurds

Turkey's spy agency has denied it was involved in the killings of three female Kurdish rebels in Paris a year ago but has launched an internal probe into the case. A Turkish national has been charged in France over the triple murder but the motive remains unknown. Turkey has suggested the killings were the result of an internal feud in the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) over the peace process.

Turkey's pro-Kurdish MPs sworn in after freed from prison

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's parliament swore in five pro-Kurdish lawmakers on Tuesday after they were freed from prison during their trial on charges linking them to armed militants, lifting hopes for a shaky peace process. Two courts ruled last week that the lengthy imprisonment of Peace and Democracy Party lawmakers Selma Irmak, Faysal Sariyildiz, Gulser Yildirim and Ibrahim Ayhan and independent MP Kemal Aktas had violated their rights as elected officials. Parliamentarians enjoy immunity from prosecution in Turkey.

Turkey orders release of three more jailed Kurdish lawmakers

Three Kurdish lawmakers suspected of ties to PKK rebel separatists were to be released from prison on Saturday, a day after two other Kurd parliamentarians were freed, a judicial source said. Kemal Aktas, Selma Irmak and Faysal Sariyildiz would be freed "during the day" from prisons in Mardin and Diyarbakir, two cities in Kurdish-dominated southeastern Turkey, the source said. The five lawmakers were released pending trial after Turkey's top court ruled that their long pre-trial detention violated their rights.

Turkish court orders jailed Kurdish lawmakers be freed

By Seyhmus Cakan DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - A Turkish court ordered the release from jail on Friday of two Kurdish lawmakers being tried for links to militants in a potential boost to a fragile peace process. Gulser Yildirim and Ibrahim Ayhan won seats for the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in a 2011 election but have been held on remand for several years, accused of supporting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group.

Jailed Kurdish lawmakers seek freedom after Turkish court ruling

By Seyhmus Cakan DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkey's top court has ruled that the lengthy detention of two Kurdish lawmakers while on trial for supporting militants violated their rights, raising the chances they could be freed in what would be a boost to the peace process. Gulser Yildirim and Ibrahim Ayhan won seats for the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in a 2011 election but have been held on remand for several years, accused of supporting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group.

Pro-Kurdish MPs end hunger strike in Turkey

Six pro-Kurdish lawmakers on Friday ended a hunger strike they began on Tuesday to denounce court rulings against the release of jailed MPs with suspected links to Kurdish rebels. "We have ended our action. We hope that our fellow lawmakers will be released," one of the strikers Sebahat Tuncel told journalists. The lawmakers have remained in Turkey's parliament since they launched their strike.

Kurdish poet, singer seeks Western support for Kurds

By Dasha Afanasieva and Daren Butler ISTANBUL (Reuters) - During the 1990s it was dangerous in Turkey to sing or own recordings of the melancholic songs of Kurdish poet and singer Sivan Perwer. His army of fans in southeastern Kurdistan risked prosecution listening to bootleg tapes of his melodies about Kurdish identity, love and loss, often accompanied by a lute.

Pro-Kurdish MPs on hunger strike in Turkey parliament

Four pro-Kurdish lawmakers went on hunger strike in the Turkish parliament on Tuesday to denounce a court ruling against the release of jailed MPs with suspected links to Kurdish rebels. The MPs launched their action after branding Monday's court decision affecting five lawmakers who have been held since 2010 as "discriminatory". "We began our strike at 1 pm (1100 GMT)," Ertugrul Kurkcu of the newly founded Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) said in parliament.

Pro-Kurdish MPs plan hunger strike in Turkey parliament

Four pro-Kurdish lawmakers plan to go on hunger strike in the Turkish parliament from Tuesday to denounce a court ruling against the release of jailed MPs with suspected links to Kurdish rebels, their party said. Last week, a journalist and lawmaker from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Mustafa Balbay was freed from prison pending appeal after Turkey's top Constitutional Court ruled his pre-trial detention of more than four years had violated his rights.
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