Fighting between Kurdish PKK rebels and
Turkish army 'kills 19'
August 5, 2012
Heavy fights between PKK and Turkish army in
Semdinli, Turkey Kurdistan.
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
Turkish troops in Semdinli town of southeastern
Hakkari province in the Kurdish region in southeastern
Turkey (Northern Kurdistan). Photo: AA
DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish
region of Turkey,— Fighting between Turkish soldiers
and outlawed Kurdish rebels killed 19 people near
the Iraqi Kurdistan region border in the Turkey's
Kurdish region in southeast of the country on
Sunday, the local governor said.
Six soldiers, two village guards and 11 Kurdish PKK
rebels were killed following an overnight rebel
attack on an army post in a village in the Kurdish
Hakkari province in Turkey Kurdistan which borders
Iraq, governor Orhan Alimoglu told the Anatolia news
Another 15 soldiers were wounded.
The raid on the army post follows similar assaults
in the Kurdish-dominated southeast which have
prompted the army to launch an all-out offensive
against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) bases in the
The Turkish ground and air operation, one of the
biggest in years, was launched about two weeks ago
to drive out the rebels in the town of Semdinli,
also in Hakkari province.
About 2,000 soldiers are involved in the offensive,
private NTV television reported Sunday.
"A serious and strong operation is under way in
Semdinli," Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said
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's latest offensive against the PKK comes as
Kurds in Syrian Kurdistan (northern Syria) are
reported to have taken control of some regions as
fighting escalates in the uprising against the rule
of President Bashar al-Assad.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused
Damascus of allowing Kurdish rebels a free hand in
the north of the country and warned that Ankara
would not hesitate to strike "terrorists".
Ankara claims some of the Kurdish rebels in Syria
were forced to move there from hideouts in
mountainous zone in northern Iraq after the Turkish
army staged several air strikes in the area.
The reported control of northern Syria by the
Democratic Union Party (PYD), the PKK's Syrian ally,
has pushed Ankara to take diplomatic and military
steps to neutralise what it sees as any potential
Turkey has massed a convoy of tanks, weapons and
ground-to-air missile batteries on the border with
Syria and staged military drills, which have been
seen by the media as a show of force against
Ties between one-time allies Ankara and Damascus
have soured since Assad's regime launched a brutal
crackdown on dissent in March last year.
Relations hit an all-time low after a Turkish
fighter jet was brought down by Syrian fire in June,
killing its two pilots and leading Ankara to brand
Damascus a "hostile" opponent.
Damascus counters Turkish accusations with claims
that Ankara is supporting "terrorists" to bring down
the Syrian regime down,www.ekurd.net
referring to the Free Syrian Army of defecting
soldiers which is based on Turkish soil near the
Last week, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited
northern Iraq for talks with Iraqi Kurdish leader
Masoud Barzani about the situation in northern
"The new Syria should be free of any terrorist and
extremist group or organisation," the two said in a
rare joint statement.
Although Turkey has built ties with the Kurdistan
Regional Government KRG in Kurdistan region in
Iraq's north, Ankara is against the idea of a
separate Kurdish state.
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
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
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