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 Turkish jets strike Kurdish PKK rebel bases in Iraqi Kurdistan: army

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Turkish jets strike Kurdish PKK rebel bases in Iraqi Kurdistan: army  20.6.2012  
By Ekurd.net staff writers








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. See Related Links
June 20, 2012

ANKARA, — The Turkish military says warplanes and helicopters have struck Kurdistan Workers' Party PKK rebel targets inside Kurdistan region in Iraq's north in response to a rebel attack that killed eight Turkish soldiers near the Iraqi border.

The military says on its website Wednesday that Turkish troops have killed 26 Kurdish PKK rebels and captured another one alive after Tuesday's attack by the rebels.

The strikes come after rebels on Tuesday attacked Turkish military units in the town of Yuksekova in Hakkari province near the Iraqi border. The fighting between Turkish soldiers and rebels claimed 34 lives.

It says warplanes and helicopters have "effectively" hit Kurdish rebel targets across the Iraqi border but did not say when the air raids took place.

Kurdish rebels allegedly use northern Iraq as a spring board for attacks on Turkish targets in their decades-long fight for autonomy in Turkey's Kurdish region in southeast aka (northern Kurdistan).

In October 2011, Turkey launched a major air and land offensive against the rebels in the southeast of the country and in neighbouring northern Iraq after 24 of its troops were killed in a night-time ambush by rebels.

In December 2011, Turkish air strikes killed 34 Kurdish civilians near the Iraqi Kurdistan border in an attack which the government said had been a military blunder,www.ekurd.net as commanders had mistaken them for PKK fighters.

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 lives.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous Kurdish region 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 constitution.

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.

The PKK is considered as '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. 

Sources: AP | AFP | Reuters | ekurd.net | Agencies

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