(Combined Sources)–Recent Turkish-Kurdish clashes are an attempt by Turkish forces to destroy the country’s EU entry chances–said Ahmed Turk–leader of the largest Kurdish political party–the Democratic Society Party (DTP).
"There are forces that do not want a modern Turkey or EU accession. Currently there are major attempts by these forces to put the government under enormous pressure," he told the German daily newspaper Die Welt.
An anti-terrorist legislative crackdown has raised fears in Europe that Turkey might regress in its human rights reforms.
Another concern is a case involving two Turkish military intelligence officers arrested with a Kurdish separatist turned informer–after a grenade attack–which killed a man last November.
The prosecution has accused the men of being part of an execution squad targeting suspected Kurdish insurgents–fueling concerns about the army’s role in the country’s political system.
The PKK–a terrorist Kurdish separatist group–has been blamed for a wave of recent violence–including the bombing of a school bus carrying soldiers’ children last week that killed 17 people.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the country’s Kurdish population to condemn the violence; however he has also pledged justice.
"We in the government will respond robustly to terrorism but also determinedly pursue our efforts towards democracy and development," Erdogan told Kurds in southeast Turkey.