Tens of thousands of Kurds gathered in Diyarbakir on Tuesday (September 1st) to demand more rights and a peace deal between the government and Kurdish rebels. The rally was organised by the main pro-Kurd party in Turkey, the Democratic Society Party (DTP). Demonstrators demanded that the government and members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) sit down at the negotiating table and reach a peaceful solution to the long-standing insurgency. The government, however, has refused contact with the PKK, which is viewed as a terrorist organisation.
Meanwhile, the PKK announced on Tuesday it would extend its unilateral ceasefire until September 22nd, when the Muslim holy month of Ramadan ends. In a statement, the organisation accused the Turkish government of failing to make any “concrete and satisfactory” steps in its efforts to resolve the Kurdish issue. (Firat, AFP, Press TV, AP – 01/09/09)