Kurdish activist Zana to run in Turkey's elections

AP News
Posted: Apr 10, 2011 8:01 AM
Kurdish activist Zana to run in Turkey's elections

A Kurdish party says it will back former legislator Leyla Zana _ who spent a decade in prison convicted of links to Kurdish rebels _ in Turkey's June 12 elections.

The Peace and Democracy party announced Sunday it is also supporting six Kurdish politicians who are in jail, charged with links to the rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

The politicians will all run as independents to overcome a 10 percent electoral threshold that keeps smaller parties out of parliament. The jailed candidates would be released if elected, under Turkish laws.

The Kurdish politicians will be trying to thwart Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party from making inroads in traditional strongholds in southeast Turkey.