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Fears for Turkey ballot as Kurdish conflict deepens

Militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) stand behind a barricade during clashes with Turkish forces on September 28, 2015, at Bismil, in DiyarbakirCurfews, street barricades and armed police everywhere: the unrest in Turkey’s mainly-Kurdish southeast is likely to have an impact on the upcoming election but it also risks spelling a defeat for democracy. Nestled near the border with Syria and Iraq, the city of Cizre became a symbol of the bloody conflict after violent clashes between Turkish security forces and the youth wing of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) last month. The government said that up to 32 Kurdish militants were killed during the nine-day curfew imposed on the city, but human rights associations said 21 of of them were civilians in an assault which terrified residents and transformed this city of 120,000 people into a warzone.

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