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 Turkish warplanes hit Kurdish PKK guerrilla positions, launches ground operation

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Turkish warplanes hit Kurdish PKK guerrilla positions, launches ground operation  6.9.2012  







 
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: AFP/UKS
 
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September 6, 2012

DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish region of Turkey,— The Turkish military has launched a major air and ground operation against Kurdish rebels after a spike of deadly attacks in the southeast, local sources said on Thursday.

Turkish fighter planes and attack helicopters pounded suspected Kurdish militant positions near the southeastern border with Syria and Iraq late on Wednesday in a major air-and-ground operation, security sources said.

"Around 2,000 soldiers are involved in the operation. Cobra helicopters ... are bombing targets on the Kato mountain," a security source told Reuters, referring to a location in Turkey's southeastern Sirnak province.

Around 10 F-16 fighter planes had been sent to support the operation, the source said.

The military operation is mostly concentrated inside Turkey but sources said jets occassionally cross into the Iraqi airspace to bomb rebel hideouts.

One soldier was killed and two others were wounded in the ongoing operation, they said.

The assault comes days after fighters from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) killed 10 members of the security services in simultaneous attacks on four state and security installations in the province.

Fighting between the army and the PKK has intensified in recent months, a development which some Turkish officials and analysts have linked to the chaos in neighboring Syria.

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. More than 40,000 people have since been killed.

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 | AFP | ekurd.net | Agencies  

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