18 killed in clashes between Kurdish PKK
rebels and Turkish forces
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. Photo: flickr.com
June 19, 2012
A Turkish military helicopter flies over a mountain
in Yemisli, Kurdish Hakkari province near the Iraq's
Kurdistan border in southeastern Turkey (Turkey
Kurdistan) Photo: Getty Images.
DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish region of Turkey,
— Eight Turkish soldiers and 10 Kurdish PKK rebels
were killed early Tuesday in clashes in southeast
Turkey, the local governor's office said, cited by
Eight Turkish soldiers were killed and 16 wounded
when members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers'
Party (PKK) attacked an army post at Yesiltas, near
the border with Kurdistan region of Iraq and Iran,
the governor's office said in a statement posted on
"Operations are continuing in the region. According
to preliminary findings, 10 terrorists were rendered
ineffective," it added, a term often used by Turkish
officials and security forces to refer to rebel
A group of Kurdish rebels probably crossed into
Turkey from their bases in northern Iraq to attack
the army post at Yesiltas, local security services
The NTV news channel said ground troops and combat
helicopters were pursuing the assailants.
This mountainous region of Turkey is often the scene
of violent clashes between security forces and
Kurdish rebels, which escalate their attacks in the
Turkish warplanes generally bomb PKK hideouts in
retaliations for attacks on troops.
The head of the armed forces General Necdet Ozel
rushed to the region, along with the commanders of
the ground forces and paramilitary gendarmerie,
Turkish media reported.
As Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan seeks an end to the
conflict, the leader of Turkey's opposition
Republican People's Party said this month he was
willing to work with the ruling AK Party to resolve
the Kurdish problem.
Amid speculation about further moves to end the
conflict, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc raised
the possibility at the weekend of jailed PKK leader
Abdullah Ocalan being put under house arrest if the
militants were to lay down their weapons.
However other leading government figures, pointing
to nationalist sensitivities over such a radical
dismissed the idea, and Erdogan said it was only
Arinc's personal view.
Concerns about the PKK insurgency have been
exacerbated by the conflict in Syrian Kurdistan,
which also has a Kurdish minority.
The PKK has several times proposed peaceful solutions regarding Kurdish problem,
Turkey has always refused saying that it will not negotiate with “terrorists”.
Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been
fighting the Turkish state, which still denies the
constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a
Kurdish state in the south east of the country, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous
and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who
constitute the greatest minority in Turkey,
numbering more than 20 million. A large Turkey's
Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.
PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees,
lifting the ban on education in Kurdish, paving the
way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within
Turkey, reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader
Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action against
the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish
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
The PKK is considered ass 'terrorist' organization by
Ankara and 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.
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