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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.

Turkish court rejects requests to free Kurdish lawmakers

By Seyhmus Cakan DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - A Turkish court on Monday rejected bids by two Kurdish lawmakers to be released from lengthy pre-trial detention, a move that could undermine confidence in a fragile peace process with Kurdish militants. The decision by the court in Diyarbakir, the regional centre of Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, came despite the country's top court ruling this month that the long-term detention of another MP pending trial was unconstitutional.

PKK threatens to retaliate over protester deaths in Turkey

Kurdish rebels on Sunday warned of retaliation over the deaths of three Kurdish protesters shot by Turkish police, heightening tensions in the fragile peace process between Ankara and the outlawed PKK group. "The government should know that these attacks and killings eliminate the non-conflict environment and give guerrilla forces the right to reprisal," the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) said in a statement carried by Kurdish news agency Firat.

Iraq's ailing President Talabani on road to recovery: office

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who suffered a stroke a year ago, is on his way to a full recovery in Germany, his office said on Wednesday, publishing photos of him with his wife. Talabani's doctor has repeatedly said the 80-year-old is responding to treatment in Germany, but rumors about his condition have been rife. Many Iraqis believe he is too frail to return to political life.

Kurdish protester injured in clashes with Turkey police dies

A Kurdish protester who was seriously wounded during fierce weekend clashes with police in southeast Turkey died of his injuries in hospital on Wednesday, medics said. Bemal Topcu, 25, was allegedly struck on the head by a tear gas canister fired by Turkish riot police during demonstrations in the town of Yuksekova on Saturday. Tensions have been on the rise in the Kurdish-dominated region since two protesters were shot dead by police in clashes in Yuksekova on Friday night, which were sparked by claims that Kurdish rebel cemeteries had been destroyed.

Fresh violence rattles Turkey-Kurd peace process

Turkish riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at Kurdish protesters armed with rocks and Molotov cocktails on Monday in a new upsurge of violence that has rattled the fragile peace process. Two demonstrators have been killed and four soldiers briefly kidnapped by guerrillas in the southeast of the country in the worst unrest since a ceasefire adopted by the outlawed Kurdish rebels nine months ago.

Mandela: Shining light for Turkey's Kurds

To the Kurds of Turkey, Nelson Mandela was a source of inspiration for their own struggle -- a freedom fighter who was jailed in isolation like their own leader. To some nationalist Turks however, he was a "terrorist" because of his support for the Kurdish cause and an "insolent African" who turned down the country's most prestigious award.

Kurdish militants free abducted Turkish soldiers

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Four Turkish soldiers seized by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants were freed on Monday after Kurdish politicians intervened, security sources said, ending a brief standoff that could have damaged a fragile peace process. The abductions reflected an increase in tensions in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeastern provinces after two protesters were killed on Friday in clashes with police in Yuksekova, a town near the Iraqi border.

Violence rattles Turkey-Kurd peace process

The peace process between Turkey and Kurdish rebels appeared fragile on Monday after three days of violent confrontations rocked the Kurdish southeast. The weekend clashes in several cities, which left two protesters dead and saw four Turkish soldiers briefly kidnapped, were the worst since Kurdish rebels announced a ceasefire nine months ago. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday accused certain groups of trying to damage the peace process.

At least 10 injured in demonstration in Turkey's Diyarbakir

At least 10 injured in demonstration in Turkey's Diyarbakir ANKARA, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- At least 10 people were injured in Turkey's Diyarbakir in a police crackdown on a protest to denounce the death of two demonstrators in the eastern province of Hakkari, local Daily News reported Monday. The protest, organized by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), turned violent when some protesters threw stones to the police after the police announced the halt of the protest.
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