Turkey says 115 Kurdish PKK rebels killed
since July 23
August 6, 2012
Turkey's interior minister Idris Naim Sahin. Photo: AFP
People stand near armoured vehicles of Turkish
military stationed in front of Gecimli military
outpost where Kurdish rebels attacked and killed 6
soldiers and 2 village guard on August 5, 2012 at
Cukurca in Hakkari in the Turkey's Kurdish region
aka Northern 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: Getty Images
ANKARA,— Turkey's interior minister said
Sunday some 115 Kurdish rebels have been killed in a
large-scale military offensive launched in the
southeast of the country in July.
"We reached the conclusion that 115 members of the
separatist terrorist organization have been rendered
ineffective" since an offensive launched on July 23
to 24, Idris Naim Sahin was quoted as saying by the
Anatolia news agency, referring to members of the
outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Idris Naim Sahin said the rebels were killed in an
airpower-backed offensive near the Kurdish town of
Semdinli, in Hakkari province in Turkey's Kurdish
region [Northern Kurdistan] Kurdistan which sits on
the border with Iraq's Kurdistan region. He said the
offensive began on July 23.
His remarks came after Kurdish PKK rebels
stormed a Turkish army post on the
Iraq border Sunday, triggering fighting that killed
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attack
was a "dastardly assault" and issued a warning to
countries allegedly backing the PKK, saying Turkey
was "powerful enough to bring into line
enemy-country (puppet masters) who hold the strings
of the terror organization." He did not name any
countries and it was not clear if the statement was
aimed at Syria, in relation to the PKK presence
Erdogan has recently ruled out negotiating with the
PKK to end the decades-old conflict and said state
security forces would continue their struggle
against the group until it lays down arms. The
government has acknowledged that some officials have
in the past held secret talks with the rebels that
were subsequently abandoned.
A series of similar assaults against troops in the
Kurdish-dominated southeast prompted the army to
launch an all-out offensive against Kurdistan
Workers' Party PKK bases in the area last month.
The Turkish ground and air operation, one of the
biggest in years, is focused on the town of Semdinli,
in Hakkari province,www.ekurd.net
and NTV television said about
2,000 Turkish troops are involved.
Sahin said the operation was still continuing,
adding that security forces were taking measures to
prevent Kurdish rebels from fleeing to northern Iraq
where the organization is based.
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
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.
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