Four Kurdish activists - all former Turkish lawmakers - say they are forming a new political movement to advance the rights of Turkey's Kurdish minority.

Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Orhan Dogan and Selim Sadak made the announcement Friday, shortly before they appeared in a court in Ankara to face charges of having ties with armed Kurdish rebels.

The four activists were released this year after spending a decade in prison on charges of supporting Kurdish separatism and collaborating with outlawed Kurdish rebels.

They have repeatedly called for peaceful tactics to advance Kurdish rights.

Kurdish rebels have waged a long war for autonomy in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast. Some 37,000 people have died in the conflict.