May 17, 2010
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, May 17 (UPI) — Kurdish lawmakers in Turkey warned of dire consequences if Ankara continued its perceived policy of aggression against the ethnic minority community.

Security forces stopped members of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, who were planning major demonstrations in the southern city of Diyarbakir. BDP leaders said there were planning to form a human shield to protest a crackdown on members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, the official Anadolu Agency reports.

Turkish authorities are wrestling with a resurgence of PKK militancy in the south of Turkey that coincides with the spring fighting season. Osman Ozcelik, a deputy BDP leader, said his supporters backed peaceful initiatives with the government, adding he wanted "an honored peace."

BDP leader Nezir Karabas, meanwhile, told supporters in Diyarbakir during the weekend that Kurdish groups would continue their protests of legal reforms enacted last week.

"I swear, if you continue these policies, the Kurdish people will not be content with just a guerrilla struggle, but will turn life into hell," he warned.

Ankara last week approved a series of constitutional measures that it says furthers democratic reforms. Opposition leaders complained the move gave the ruling Justice and Development Party near autonomous control over the military and other government branches.

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