[JURIST] Turkish lawmakers Friday moved to disband the country's leading pro-Kurdish political party and boot its representatives from parliament. Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya charged the Democratic Society Party [party website] with separatism after members gave speeches last week in support of autonomy for Kurds living in the country's southeast. The prosecutor's office will send an indictment to the Constitutional Court of Turkey [official website]. Turkish politicians have also accused the the Democratic Society Party of links to the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party [BBC backgrounder], which has been designated as a terrorist organization by both the United States and the European Union. AP has more.
In February, Turkish authorities charged [JURIST report] Democratic Society Party leader Hilmi Aydogdu with inciting hatred after stating that any Turkish attack on Kirkuk [Global Security backgrounder], a city in northern Iraq with a large Kurdish population, would be comparable to an attack on all Kurds. Growing hostility between Kurds, Arabs, and Turks in Kirkuk, as well as suspicions that Iraqi Kurds seek to create an independent state with Kirkuk as its capital, has made Turkey wary. The country has suggested that it might protect its interests in the oil-rich city with military force.