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Turkey's banned pro-Kurd party to leave parliament

14 December 2009 [09:38] - TODAY.AZ
Clashes erupted in some towns across Turkey's Kurdish southeast on Saturday after a court disbanded a leading Kurdish party, dealing a blow to government efforts to end decades of conflict in the EU candidate country.

In Ankara, deputies from the Democratic Society Party (DTP) said they would quit parliament in protest at a ruling by the Constitutional Court to dissolve the party, which has raised concerns in the European Union and in Washington.

Hundreds of protesters pelted riot police with petrol bombs and stones in the town of Hakkari, pictures posted on Hurriyet daily's website showed. Police fired water cannon and tear gas at protesters, who lit street barricades.

State news agency Anatolian said a girl was injured in Hakkari, where protesters attacked two police officers, who were saved by former DTP officials.

There were also reports of clashes in Van and of protests in the city of Diyarbakir, the largest city in the southeast and where tensions remained high.

The court ruled on Friday in favor of banning the DTP after it found it guilty of cooperating with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) separatist guerrillas.

/Associated Press/

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