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Turkey Arrests Three Academics On 'Terrorist Propaganda' Charges

Turkish authorities have arrested three academics on charges of "terrorist propaganda" after they publicly read out a declaration calling for an end to security operations in the country's Kurdish-majority southeast.

Police also detained and questioned a British national at the courthouse that ordered the arrests.

The government blames the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) for a car bombing in the capital, Ankara, on March 13 that killed 37 people.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

More than 2,000 academics signed a petition in January criticizing military action in the southeast, including round-the-clock curfews aimed at rooting out PKK militants who have barricaded themselves in residential areas in southeastern cities.

Hundreds of civilians, security forces, and rebels have been killed since the conflict with the PKK reignited in July in the worst violence Turkey has seen for 20 years.

The petition outraged President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said the academics would pay a price for their "treachery.”

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters