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 One Turkish soldier killed, 11 wounded in west Turkey attack

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One Turkish soldier killed, 11 wounded in west Turkey attack  9.8.2012  

A Turkish soldier was killed and 11 others were wounded Thursday in an attack on Turkish military vehicle in the western Turkish province of Izmir. 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: AA
Suspected Kurd militants attack military bus in Turkey

August 9
, 2012

ISTANBUL,— A Turkish soldier was killed and 11 others were wounded Thursday in an attack on their military vehicle in the western Turkish province of Izmir, Anatolia news agency reported, citing local officials.

"We have lost one soldier and have 11 wounded in two separate blasts caused by remotely operated mines," Izmir governor Cahit Kirac told Anatolia following an inspection in the now sealed-off area.

The military vehicle was hit by an initial explosion before the assailants opened fire on the troops, who were on their way to a military post located in the tourist town of Foca in Izmir.

A second explosion followed the clash, according to the private NTV news channel, which previously announced the number of wounded at seven. Four more Turkish troops are believed to have been wounded in the second explosion.

The identity of the assailants was not immediately clear, but Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attack was "another sign that terror was taking steps to spread."

The premier was referring to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been waging war for autonomy in Turkey's Kurdish region (Northern Kurdistan) in the southeast, carrying out fitful attacks against Turkish security forces based there.

Witnesses interviewed by NTV said they saw three or four people speeding away in a car after the assault. A ground and air search was launched to capture the attackers,www.ekurd.net according to governor Kirac.

Thursday's attack comes after 22 people were killed Sunday in a deadly clash in the country's southeast, a frequent scene of clashes between Kurdish PKK rebels and Turkish security forces.

A series of similar assaults against troops in the southeast prompted the army to launch an all-out offensive against PKK bases in the area last month.

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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