Turkish army kills 14 Kurdish PKK rebels
near Iraqi Kurdistan's border
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.
January 8, 2013
Photo: HPG •
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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
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
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
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
openly sympathise with PKK rebels.
Abdullah Öcalan, who founded the PKK in 1974, has a high symbolic value for most Kurds in Turkey and
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
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
a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and
its political wing on the European Union's terror
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