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 Turkey warns it would strike Kurdish PKK fighters inside Syrian Kurdistan

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Turkey warns it would strike Kurdish PKK fighters inside Syrian Kurdistan  26.7.2012 







 
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Photo: AP
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July 26, 2012

ANKARA, — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Syria of letting Turkey's Kurdish PKK rebels operate inside Syrian Kurdistan in north of the country and warned that Ankara would not hesitate to strike against them.

"In the north, it (President Bashar al-Assad's regime) has allotted five provinces to the Kurds, to the terrorist organisation," Erdogan said on Turkish television late Wednesday, referring to the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK).

He said the move was explicitly aimed against Turkey and warned that "there will undoubtedly be a response on our part to this attitude."

Asked if Ankara would strike fleeing rebels after an attack on Turkish soil, Erdogan said: "That's not even a matter of discussion, it is a given. That is the objective, that is what must be done."

"That is what we have been doing and will continue to do in Iraq," he said during a programme aired on Kanal 24.

"If we occasionally launch aerial strikes against terrorist areas it's because these are measures taken because of defence needs."

Turkey regularly bombs suspected Kurdish rebel hideouts in Kurdistan region in Iraq's north.

Relations between Turkey and Syria have steadily soured since the start of the uprising against Assad's rule in Syria in March 2011,www.ekurd.net with Erdogan criticising the regime's crackdown against the revolt.

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, AFP | ekurd.net | Agencies 

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