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Kurds clash with police in southeast Turkey

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Clashes broke out in Turkey's southeastern province of Cizre on Saturday as thousands of Kurds flocked to the streets to demonstrate in a bid to show solidarity with a widening hunger strike. Riot police used smoke grenade and water cannons to disperse the crowd as protesters pelted armored police vehicles with firecrackers, stones and petrol bombs. Tensions have been high in the mainly Kurdish southeastern Turkey for a couple of weeks as some 700 people -- mostly imprisoned in more than 50 jails -- have refused food for 60 days now against a backdrop of increased violence between Turkish soldiers and the armed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Six of Turkey's leading Kurdish politicians have joined hundreds of jailed militants and activists in a hunger to call for a rebel leader to be allowed to see lawyers. Some 700 Kurdish inmates in dozens of prisons are refusing solid food. They want Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government to allow the leader of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned on an island south of Istanbul, to have access to lawyers after 15 months of no contact.

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