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 Kurdish PKK rebel 'peace groups' arrive in Turkey in a gesture of support for Turkey's Kurdish initiative

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Kurdish PKK rebel 'peace groups' arrive in Turkey in a gesture of support...  19.10.2009  
Ekurd.net


 

Kurdish PKK guerrillas (Freedom fighters) heading to Turkey . The first images of the PKK members who will cross into Turkey from northern Iraq have been published in Turkish media on Monday. Photos: HPG.
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October 19, 2009


DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish region of Turkey, — A group of Kurdish rebels and their supporters crossed from Iraqi Kurdistan region into Turkey Monday in a gesture of support for a Turkish government plan to end the 25-year Kurdish conflict, officials said.

The 34 people, among them eight Turkey's Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels, from the group's camp in the Qandil mountains,
www.ekurd.net were taken in for questioning as soon as they walked through the Habur border gate, the only gate between Turkey with Iraqi Kurdistan region.

The remaining 26, including four children and nine women, are Turkish Kurds from the UN-run Makhmour refugee camp in northern Iraq.
 

The camp holds some 12,000 people who left Turkey in the 1990s at the peak of the deadly conflict between the army and the PKK.

Four prosecutors sent to the border area by special order were to determine whether these people had committed any crimes and whether they should be taken into custody.

Ahmet Turk, chairman of the Democratic Society Party (DTP), Turkey's only legal Kurdish party, said the move "shows that the PKK is insisting on peace not war".

The DTP has long been suspected of links to the PKK, branded a "terrorist" organisation by Turkey. The DTP denies this, but has resisted calls to condemn PKK violence.

Erdogan and the army have ruled out any role for the PKK in the government initiative, but have said the state will be generous with PKK militants who surrender if they are found not to have been involved in attacks.

The DTP wants the government to grant the PKK an amnesty, but the government and military strongly oppose this.

In Istanbul, several thousand pro-Kurdish protesters took to the streets to back the government's plan, which faces resistance from Turkish nationalists.

"I'm here because I want the killing of children to stop. We need peace now," said Anka Turna, 48.

"I support the government's Kurdish initiative. This will be a long process. It is like cancer treatment. It will be painful and long, but a first step needs to be taken."

 

Erdogan's Islamist-rooted AK Party, which came to power in 2002, has already taken some steps to expand Kurdish rights.

Turkish officials have said the group was welcome if they were in Turkey to turn themselves in, but senior PKK commander Murat Karayilan told a pro-Kurdish news agency on Sunday that the group's aim was not surrender.

The banned PKK announced last week that it would send "peace groups" from Iraq and Europe, on a proposal from their jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan, to help advance the government's bid to resolve the conflict through democratic reforms. PKK surrender to Turkish military forces on Monday is a gesture of support for Turkey's Kurdish initiative and to back Turkish reforms, a PKK official said late on Saturday.

Since August, the government has been trying to build public support for a initiative to grant Kurds greater rights and try to erode support for the PKK.

Since 1984 the PKK took up arms for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey (Turkey-Kurdistan) which has claimed around 45,000 lives of Turkish soldiers and Kurdish PKK guerrillas. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels. Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority.

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,
www.ekurd.net 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 as '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.

Ankara is currently working on a package of fresh reforms to expand the freedoms of the Kurdish community, but has rejected calls to halt military action against the PKK.

Turkey's estimated over 20 million Kurds, of a population of 72 million, have long complained of discrimination by the state.

 

Ocalan, who was imprisoned in 1999, continues to lead the PKK from his island cell off the Istanbul coast, but has focused lately on support for improved Kurdish rights in Turkey as a means to ending the conflict.

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.

Name of the Kurdish PKK guerrillas (Qandil Group) which surrendered to Turkey in a gesture of support for Turkey's Kurdish initiative


Nome Surname: HAMIYE DINCER
Sex : F
Father: FELEMEZ ASER
Mother: MAHIRE ASER
Date and Place of Birth: 1971 BASKALE

Nome Surname: ELIF ULUDAG
Sex : F
Father: HASAN
Mother: HATICE
Date and Place of Birth: 1958 PAZARCIK MARAS


Nome Surname: HUSEYIN IPEK
Sex : M
Father: HASAN
Mother: HALIME
Date and Place of Birth: 1973 OMERLI MARDIN

Nome Surname: M.SERIF BENCDAL
Sex : M
Father: MEHMET
Mother: SULTAN
Date and Place of Birth: 1973 SIVEREK

Nome Surname: MUSTAFA AYHAN
Sex : M
Father: OMER
Mother: SULTAN
Date and Place of Birth: 1985

Nome Surname: VILAYET YAKUT
Sex : F
Father: HUSNU
Mother: VESILE
Date and Place of Birth: 1980 DIYARBAKIR

Nome Surname: LUTFU TAS
Sex : M
Father: RIZA
Mother: PORE
Date and Place of Birth: 1952 KIGI BINGOL

 

Nome Surname: GULBAHAR CICEKCI
Sex : F
Father: MEHMET
Mother: SAADET
Date and Place of Birth: 1975 KIGI BINGOL

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