President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AKP government took steps to improve cultural and linguistic rights as part of its Kurdish initiative announced in 2009 when he was prime minister.
These included allowing Kurdish-language institutions and media outlets, and kindergartens that teach children in Kurdish.
But with the resumption of violence in the Kurdish majority southeast between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) after the collapse of a fragile truce 2015, the government has launched a crackdown on Kurdish media organizations and culture centers.
That has increased in the aftermath of a failed 2016 coup.
The government has removed 48 elected mayors of Kurdish-run municipalities and replaced them with “trustees”. Dozens of pro-Kurdish politicians have been arrested on terrorism charges.
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