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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February 2005, 12:18 GMT
Acehnese eye up Turkish flag
An Indonesian woman, holding bread which she has received from a Turkish relief agency looks through the front window of the headquarters of the Turkish relief effort in Banda Aceh, 9 Feb
Achnese people find the Turkish flag strangely familiar
Queues form every day outside a bakery in the tsunami-hit Indonesian city of Banda Aceh, waiting to be given bread by a team of Turkish aid workers.

But the bread is not the only attraction.

Anything showing an image of the Turkish flag is also being snapped up, because of its similarity to the flag of Aceh's separatist rebels.

"Everyone here knows this is Aceh's flag," a man told the Associated Press, pointing to a Turkish flag on his hat.

"We can wear this safely and the police can do nothing," he added.

Gam rebels hoist up their flag, archive picture
The Turkish flag is almost identical to that of Gam separatist rebels

Aceh's separatist Free Aceh Movement (Gam) has been battling for Achenese independence for nearly three decades.

Following the devastating earthquake and tsunami on 26 December, which has left more than 225,000 people dead or missing in Aceh, government and rebel negotiators held peace talks for the first time in nearly two years.

Both had agreed to an unofficial ceasefire to facilitate the delivery of aid to affected regions.

But the talks - in the Finnish capital Helsinki - ended without agreement, and the two sides are expected to meet again later in February.


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