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Security High As Kurds In Turkey Celebrate Norouz

(RFE/RL) March 21, 2007 -- Thousands of Kurds are gathering in Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated southeast, to celebrate Norouz.

The spring festival has traditionally been used by Kurds as an occasion to assert separatist demands.

Tensions are high this year in particular because of the arrests of dozens of pro-Kurdish politicians on charges of ties to separatist rebels.

Authorities have stepped up security and warned they would not tolerate illegal demonstrations by Kurdish activists.