Have Turkey's Kurds discovered the power of Gandhi and Rosa Parks?
It certainly looked that way in mid-September as thousands of school children across Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast stayed away from school to protest the lack of Kurdish-language education in Turkish state schools.
Acts of mass civil disobedience have been largely absent from the 26-year war that the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, has waged against the Turkish state.
Today, observers believe it could become a key Kurdish nationalist tactic, as the PKK faces off against a Turkish government trying to revive efforts to end the war, and struggles to retain the support of its Kurdish support base whose loyalty risks being worn away by a growing economic prosperity and steady, if slow-paced improvements in civil liberties.
Timed to coincide with the start of the new school year, the five-day long boycott was called by a Kurdish NGO that has no known links to the PKK. But it was the backing of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) -- a Kurdish party that shares the PKK's support base -- that ensured that thousands of children stayed away.
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