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Bloodshed stokes Kurdish separatist sentiment

Ankara’s draconian security crackdowns, marked by dozens of civilian deaths, have left many Kurds wondering whether they should give up their struggle for rights and seek independence.
A demonstrator holds a picture of Bar Association President Tahir Elci during a protest in Istanbul, Turkey, November 28, 2015. An unidentified gunman on Saturday killed a top Kurdish lawyer who had been criticised in Turkey for saying the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) was not a terrorist organisation. Witnesses said Bar Association President Tahir Elci was shot in the head after making a statement to the media in Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkey's troubled, mainly Kurdish southeast.  REUTERS/O
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At the funeral of slain Kurdish human rights lawyer Tahir Elci on Nov. 28, the co-chair of Turkey’s Kurdish-dominated Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas, decried hostility against Kurds in the country, charging that millions gloated over Elci’s killing and the government was apathetic. In other words, the HDP leader denounced not only the government but also ordinary Turks who remain indifferent to the oppressions Kurds face and even support them.

Most strikingly, Demirtas said, “The Kurdish people are well aware that what killed Tahir was not the state but the statelessness.” The remark sparked controversy on whether Demirtas meant that Elci would not have been killed if the Kurds had a state, or rebuked the Turkish state for failing to embrace and protect the Kurds as its own.

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