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 Kurdish PKK militants kidnap 7 pro-Turkish village guards in east Turkey

 Source : Reuters
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Kurdish PKK militants kidnap 7 pro-Turkish village guards in east Turkey  12.11.2007



November 12, 2007

TUNCELI, Kurdish Southeastern region of Turkey, -- Turkey's Kurdish separatist militants have kidnapped seven people including two state-sponsored (Pro-Turkish) village guards ( Jash in Kurdish) in the eastern province of Van, security officials said on Monday.

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants blocked a bridge leading to the village of Ogulveren near the border with Iran and kidnapped the two guards and five other young men late on Sunday, the sources said.

More than 37,000 Turkish soldiers and Kurdish PKK guerrillas have been killed since 1984 when the PKK took up arms for self-rule in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey.

Amid an escalation of violence between the PKK and security forces, Ankara is weighing a cross-border operation into Kurdistan 'northern Iraq' to crush guerrillas using the neighbouring country as a base.

Reuters

** Kurds are not recognized as an official minority in Turkey and are denied rights granted to other minority groups. Under EU pressure, Turkey recently granted Kurds limited rights for broadcasts and education in the Kurdish language, but critics say the measures do not go far enough.

The use of the term "Kurdistan" is vigorously rejected due to its alleged political implications by the Republic of Turkey, which does not recognize the existence of a "Turkish Kurdistan" Southeast Turkey.

Others estimate over 40 million Kurds live in Big Kurdistan (Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Armenia), which covers an area as big as France, about half of all Kurds which estimate to 20 million live in Turkey.

Turkey is home to over 25 million ethnic Kurds, some of whom openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK for a Kurdish homeland in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey.

Before August 2002, the Turkish government placed severe restrictions on the use of Kurdish language, prohibiting the language in education and broadcast media. The Kurdish alphabet is still not recognized in Turkey, and use of the Kurdish letters X, W, Q which do not exist in the Turkish alphabet has led to judicial persecution in 2000 and 2003

The Kurdish flag flown officially in Iraqi Kurdistan but unofficially flown by Kurds in Armenia. The flag is banned in Iran, Syria, and Turkey where flying it is a criminal offence" 

Southeastern Turkey: North Kurdistan ( Kurdistan-Turkey) wikipedia   

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