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Turkey election 'becoming impossible' as ceasefire collapses

September 9, 2015

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has said Turkey's election could be hampered by ongoing clashes between PKK militants and security forces. Meanwhile, a Dutch reporter in Turkey's region faces deportation.

Turkey nationalist demonstrators storm HDP building in Ankara
Image: picture alliance/ZUMA Press

Following the collapse of a ceasefire between the Turkish government and Kurdish insurgents, southeast Turkey has seen a dramatic increase in violence in recent months.

The headquarters of the "Hurriyet" daily newspaper in Istanbul and 126 HDP buildings in Ankara came under attack by nationalists on Tuesday night.

Protesters launched the offensive following the deaths of at least 31 members of Turkey's security forces killed by Kurdish rebels.

Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday that the head of the HDP, Selahattin Demirtas, said the current security situation would make Turkey's election on November 1 difficult to hold.

"We want an election to be held and we are not saying an election can't be held, but we want the conditions in the region to be improved for an election," Demirtas said.

Ahead of the election, the HDP has also accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of encouraging the unrest in a bid to drum up nationalist support elsewhere in the country - a claim which he has dismissed.

Three months ago, the pro-Kurdish opposition won enough votes to enter parliament as a party for the first time, ending more than a decade of single-party rule by Erdogan's AK Party.

Dutch journalist to be deported

Turkey's state-run news agency, Anadolu, also reported on Wednesday that Frederike Geerdink, a Dutch journalist who was detained last week in the predominantly Kurdish town of Yuksekova, would be deported.

Geerdink's lawyer, Ramazan Ay, told AFP news agency that her defense team did not have any details on the decision.

"She's now in a detention center for foreign citizens in Yuksekova. We're going to appeal this decision," Ay said.

The journalist was put on trial earlier this year on charges of spreading "terrorist propaganda" for the PKK, but was then acquitted.

The case against Geerdink highlighted concerns about press freedom under Erdogan, where a host of public figures are currently facing legal proceedings on charges of insulting the president.

ksb/kms (Reuters, AFP, AP)