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 15 Kurdish PKK rebels killed by Turkish forces in southeast

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15 Kurdish PKK rebels killed by Turkish forces in southeast  25.7.2012  





 
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. Photo: HPG
July 25, 2012

DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish region of Turkey, — Turkish security forces killed at least 15 Kurdish rebels in a raid near the country's border with Iraq's Kurdistan region after tracking them with drones and attacking them with helicopters and on the ground, officials said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

They said drones spotted a group of Kurdish fighters who blocked roads on Monday in Kurdish Hakkari province in Turkey's Kurdistan, then pinpointed them for an attack when the Kurdish fighters returned to the same area on Tuesday evening.

Three Turkish soldiers were injured in clashes that ensued, the security officials said.

The region is the theatre of a 28-year-old conflict between Turkish forces and fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which in various incarnations has waged a campaign for autonomy in the largely Kurdish southeast of Turkey.

Turkey has cemented ties with the Kurdish leadership of Iraq's semi-autonomous north, where the PKK has a military presence, through trade and investment, but remains wary that the example of Kurdish self-rule in Iraq and deepening chaos in neighbouring Syria could inflame its own Kurdish conflict.

Syrian Kurdish opposition figures say Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces have quit the Kurdish areas of Hassaka and Aleppo provinces in Syrian Kurdistan (Western Kurdistan), which border Turkey, leaving them under the control of the PKK-linked Democratic Union Party (PYD).

The head of the Syrian National Council - which aspires to political leadership of the revolt against Assad and much of whose leadership is in Turkey - said Assad's troops had lost control of some parts of those regions,www.ekurd.net but that the Syrian opposition did not endorse any Kurdish separatist project.

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.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous 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.

The PKK wants constitutional recognition for the Kurds, regional self-governance and Kurdish-language education in schools.

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, 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.

Copyright ©, respective author or news agency, Reuters | ekurd.net | Agencies

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