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Kurds celebrate ancient Persian festival in Turkey


Demonstrators gather around a bonfire to celebrate Newroz in Ankara, March 21. The Newroz has traditionally been used as an opportunity to highlight separatist demands by Kurdish rebels and police had to intensify security against possible violence as tensions run high ahead of nationwide general elections. Newroz, the Farsi-language word for "new year", is an ancient Persian festival, celebrated on the first day of spring in Central Asian republics, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iran.


A Turkish Kurd jumps over a bonfire as people gather to celebrate the Newroz in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, March 20.