Turkey's president condemns a call by the leader of the pro-Kurdish HDP party to give Turkish Kurds more autonomy, as the government continues a crackdown on Kurdish militants. Diane Hodges reports.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is condemning calls by the head of a pro-Kurdish political party to give Turkish Kurds greater autonomy. (SOUNDBITE (Turkish) TURKISH PRESIDENT, TAYYIP ERDOGAN, SAYING: "How dare you talk about establishing a state in the east and southeast of Turkey." Erdogan says the comments by Selahattin Demirtas, were a clear provocation, and vows that Demirtas' H-D-P party "will be taught a lesson." (NAT OF TANKS FIRING) And it's not just a war of words. Thousands of Turkish troops are in the midst of a military operation around the mainly Kurdish city of Cizre in southeastern Turkey They're trying to root out members of the outlawed Kurdish group, P-K-K who are also seeking more autonomy. But Kurdish leaders say the campaign is killing civilians. (NAT OF PROTESTS) Demonstrators are protesting the offensive, and the round-the-clock curfews that the military has imposed on many areas. Turkey has stepped up security operations in the Kurdish region since peace talks with the P-K-K collapsed last July. The latest comments by Turkey's president could widen the gulf between the two sides even further.