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2 Pro-Kurdish Ministers Quit Turkish Government

Turkey's Minister for EU Affairs Ali Haydar Konca, left, and Development Minister Muslum Dogan, members of the of the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party, or HDP, speak to the media in Ankara, Sept. 22, 2015.

Two ministers from Turkey’s interim government resigned Tuesday while fighting between Kurdish rebels and government forces continues in the country's southeast.

EU Affairs Minister Ali Haydar Konca and Development Minister Muslum Dogan, both members of the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party, quit the government posts amid heightened tension with the ruling AK Party before elections called for November 1, 2015.

Konca told reporters after the resignation the government's military offensive against Kurdish rebels in the past two months had created a "hellish" situation "especially in the Kurdish cities."

Konca accused the government of promoting a “logic of war,” reminiscent of the situation in the country under the martial law of the 1990s.

The loss of lives among the "police, soldiers, guerrillas, women, children and the elderly," Konca said, indicate the presidency and the ruling party AKP “send the message that this war will be continued on a larger scale."

The HDP said that this month alone more than 20 civilians had been killed in security operations in the largely Kurdish town of Cizre, while the government said it had killed as many as 32 militants and one civilian.

The HDP, an offspring of the Kurdish nationalist movement, won 13 percent of votes in last June's election, depriving the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) an outright majority. Ever since, President Tayyip Erdogan has stepped up criticism of the HDP.