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 Turkish army kills 14 Kurdish PKK rebels near Iraqi Kurdistan's border

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Turkish army kills 14 Kurdish PKK rebels near Iraqi Kurdistan's border  8.1.2013 







 
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 region [Northern Kurdistan], the party also demanded an end to ethnic discrimination in Turkish laws and constitution against Kurds, ranting them full political freedoms. Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority and still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds. A large Turkey's Kurdish community, numbering to 25 million, openly sympathise with PKK rebels. Photo: HPG  See Related Articles
January 8, 2013

DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish region of Turkey,— The Turkish army killed 14 rebels from the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) during an operation near the Iraqi Kurdistan region border that also left one soldier dead, an official statement said Tuesday.

"A crowded group of terrorists were engaged after they were spotted preparing an attack against a border post on January 7," the governor's office in the southeastern city of Hakkari said in a statement.

The group of rebels are believed to have infiltrated from northern Iraq, where the PKK has bases.

"The first findings suggest 14 terrorists were rendered ineffective," it said, a term often used by Turkish authorities to refer to casualties among rebel ranks.

The statement added that a Turkish soldier was killed and two others injured during the shootout with the rebels.

The violence comes amid renewed hopes in Turkey that fresh talks with jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan could result in a ceasefire and an end to the long-running Kurdish insurgency in the southeast.

Last year saw a surge in violence after a previous round of secret peace talks initiated in 2009 with the rebel leadership ended in failure.

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. By 2012, more than 45,000 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.  A large Turkey's Kurdish community, numbering to 25 million, openly sympathise with PKK rebels.

Abdullah Öcalan, who founded the PKK in 1974, has a high symbolic value for most Kurds in Turkey and worldwide.

The PKK wants constitutional recognition for the Kurds, regional self-governance and Kurdish-language education in schools.

The PKK has nearly 50 thousand trained fighters on fronts and streets war, as they are deployed within the Kurdish areas near the common border of Turkey with both Iraq and Syria.

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.

The rebels have scaled back their demands for more political autonomy for Turkey's ethnic Kurds.

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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