"Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has welcomed the cries for change that have swept the Middle East, but protesters say he is ignoring similar calls from his country's Kurdish minority." Associated Press / msnbc.com 26-3-2011
Pro-Kurdish activists are accusing him of hypocrisy, and embarking on a campaign of civil disobedience to push for greater cultural and political rights for Kurds, who make up around 20 percent of Turkey's 74 million population.
"The prime minister who sends greetings to (Egypt's) Tahrir Square while sending tanks and gas bombs at us, should know that the (Kurdish) people have been seeking their freedom in their Tahrir squares," said Selahattin Demirtas, the leader of Turkey's main Kurdish party, referring to the square in Cairo where weeks of unrelenting protests forced President Hosni Mubarak to resign.
In 2009, Erdogan initiated reforms to bring a peaceful solution to the conflict with the rebels, ... However, the reforms stalled months later, after a group of rebels, dressed in guerrilla fatigues, made a triumphant return to Turkey from bases in northern Iraq, causing a public backlash in the country.
"Until our demands are heard by the government and until concrete steps are taken, we will remain on the fields and on the squares," said Demirtas, the party's leader.
Turkey's Kurds begin 'civil disobedience' campaign | msnbc.com | 26 March 2011