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 Top U.S. Iraq commander visits Turkey on PKK-rebels

 Source : Reuters | Agencies
  Kurd Net does not take credit for and is not responsible for the content of news information on this page

 


Top U.S. Iraq commander visits Turkey on PKK-rebels  25.10.2008




October 25, 2008

BAGHDAD, The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, has met a senior military official in Turkey to discuss Turkey's Kurdish PKK rebels launching attacks into Turkey from Kurdistan region "northern Iraq", the U.S. military said.

The meeting Friday with General Hasan Igsiz,
www.ekurd.net deputy chief of the Turkish General Staff, "centered on U.S. forces' ongoing assistance to Turkey in its effort to defeat the Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK," the military said in a statement.

Turkey has launched air strikes and shelled rebel areas in recent weeks in the most recent twist of its long campaign to crush the PKK rebels,
www.ekurd.net who have carried out cross-border attacks from camps in mountain areas of Iraqi Kurdistan near the Turkish border.

Turkey has stepped up its military response since an attack from the PKK which killed 17 Turkish soldiers this month.                  

U.S. General Raymond Odierno
Odierno promised to share intelligence in support of efforts against the PKK.

"There are things we can do now,
www.ekurd.net in the short-term, to help protect the lives of innocent people, and we're committed to supporting our Turkish and Iraqi partners in this effort," Odierno said.

PKK attacks have been a strain to Iraqi-Turkish ties, but the two countries appear to be making a renewed diplomatic push to find a coordinated response to the conflict.

Last week, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call that the two countries, along with the United States, should work together to "end the danger" posed by the PKK.

Last week, Kurds demonstrating in support of jailed PKK-rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan clashed with Turkish police in Istanbul and other Turkish cities following allegations of his mistreatment in prison. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

Dozens of people were detained in two cities in the largely Kurdish southeastern region of Turkey (Turkey Kurdistan).

In Diyarbakir, the largest city in the region, more than 5,000 slogan-chanting demonstrators protested. Police did not initially react but charged when they were attacked with stones. Several dozen people were detained.

One Kurdish protestor was killed Monday during a rally organized by the DTP after clashes erupted between Turkish police protestors in the Dogubeyazit district of Agri province.

Over 39,000 Turkish soldiers and Kurdish PKK guerrillas have been killed since 1984 when the Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) took up arms for self-rule in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey (Turkey-Kurdistan). A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

The PKK demanded Turkey's recognition of the Kurds' identity in its constitution and of their language as a native language along with Turkish in the country's Kurdish areas,
the party also demanded an end to ethnic discrimination in Turkish laws and constitution against Kurds, ranting them full political freedoms.

The PKK is considered a 'terrorist' organization by Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union's terror list.

Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish language and private Kurdish language courses with the prodding of the European Union,
but Kurdish politicians say the measures fall short of their expectations.

Copyright, respective author or news agency, Reuters | Agencies

* Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish language and private Kurdish language courses with the prodding of the European Union,
but Kurdish politicians say the measures fall short of their expectations.

** Kurds are not recognized as an official minority in Turkey and are denied rights granted to other minority groups. Under EU pressure, Turkey recently granted Kurds limited rights for broadcasts and education in the Kurdish language, but critics say the measures do not go far enough.

The use of the term "Kurdistan" is vigorously rejected due to its alleged political implications by the Republic of Turkey, which does not recognize the existence of a "Turkish Kurdistan" Southeast Turkey.

Others estimate over 40 million Kurds live in Big Kurdistan (Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Armenia), which covers an area as big as France, about half of all Kurds which estimate to 20 million live in Turkey.

Turkey is home to 25 million ethnic Kurds, a large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK for a Kurdish homeland in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey.

Before August 2002, the Turkish government placed severe restrictions on the use of Kurdish language, prohibiting the language in education and broadcast media. The Kurdish alphabet is still not recognized in Turkey, and use of the Kurdish letters X, W, Q which do not exist in the Turkish alphabet has led to judicial persecution in 2000 and 2003

The Kurdish flag flown officially in Iraqi Kurdistan but unofficially flown by Kurds in Armenia. The flag is banned in Iran, Syria, and Turkey where flying it is a criminal offence" 

Southeastern Turkey: North Kurdistan ( Kurdistan-Turkey) wikipedia      

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