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Turkey's Kurdish Party Accuses Gov't of Punishing Success

The head of Turkey's main pro-Kurdish party says the government is responding to his group's success in recent local elections by arresting party members.

Democratic Society Party chief Ahmad Turk says the recent detention of scores of party members shows the Turkish government has no peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue.

He was speaking Sunday in an interview with VOA's Kurdish service.

Turkish authorities have detained more than 100 people in the past week suspected of belonging to the outlawed PKK militant group, or Kurdistan Workers' Party.

A journalist in Turkey, Adil Zozani, says 80 of those detained have been officially charged with the offense - 29 in the western province of Izmir and 51 eastern province of Diyarbakir.

Turkish lawmaker Hasseb Kaplan of the Democratic Society Party tells VOA's Kurdish service that all the detained activists are registered members of his party.

The pro-Kurdish politicians deny having ties to the PKK.

The Democratic Society Party has 21 seats in Turkey's parliament. It defeated the ruling Justice and Development (AKP)party in local elections in Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeast last month.

The PKK has been fighting for Kurdish rule in southeastern Turkey since 1984. It is labeled a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.