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Turkish PM wants citizenship crackdown

BBC News BBC News 5/04/2016
A PKK militant stands guard in an alley-way near a barricade as some thousands of people flee from the historic Sur district of the mainly-Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016: More than 5,000 PKK members as well as 355 members of the security have been killed, Mr Erdogan said © AP More than 5,000 PKK members as well as 355 members of the security have been killed, Mr Erdogan said

Turkey should consider stripping terrorism supporters of their citizenship, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

A young girl holds a child in front of a ruined house in Cizre, Turkey, Wednesday, March 2, 2016.: Civilians have also been caught up in the fighting © AP Civilians have also been caught up in the fighting

The government had "nothing to discuss with terrorists", he added, speaking to a group of lawyers in Ankara.

On Monday Mr Erdogan ruled out reviving peace talks with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

A ceasefire between the Turkish government and the PKK collapsed in July.

"These people don't deserve to be our citizens. We are not obliged to carry anyone engaged in the betrayal of their state and their people," Mr Erdogan said.

How dangerous is Turkey's unrest?

Tears and destruction amid PKK crackdown

Turkey in midst of hideous vortex

The Turkish president also vowed to stamp out the conflict in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast once and for all.

The region has suffered its worst violence in more than two decades after a truce agreed in 2013 collapsed last summer.

Mr Erdogan said last week that 355 members of the security forces and more than 5,000 PKK members had been killed in fighting.

Meanwhile two deadly bomb attacks in Ankara have been claimed by Kurdish rebels.

The violence has also strained relations between Turkey and the US, which supports Kurdish militia in Syria that Turkey sees as a branch of the PKK.

Last month, Mr Erdogan called for the definition of terrorism to be expanded to include journalists, activists and others who "exploit their positions, pens and titles and put them at terrorists' disposal."

He has also pushed for MPs from the pro-Kurdish HDP party to be stripped of their immunity so they can be prosecuted for "terrorist propaganda".

The PKK formally took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984, seeking independence for Turkey's largest minority group.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

Kurdish groups across the region

Turkey

Pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) - with representation in parliament but accused by ruling party of supporting militants

Banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - hostile to Turkish government, has camps in northern Iraq and operates in south-eastern Turkey

Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) - offshoot of PKK, said it was behind last month's Ankara bombing

Syria

Democratic Unity Party (PYD) - linked to PKK

People's Protection Units (YPG) - controls area on Turkish border known as Rojava. Mainly fighting IS, but regarded by Turkey as an extension of the PKK

Iraq

Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) - runs Kurdish region of northern Iraq with Peshmerga as armed forces, has friendly relations with Turkey

KDP - dominant political party in the region

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