August 31, 2009
DIYARBAKIR, Kurdish Southeastern region of
Turkey, — Four Turkish soldiers were killed on
Sunday in the eastern province of Hakkari after a
device planted in a military operating area
exploded, security sources said.
An officer was among the dead and searches were
underway for further devices, they added.
Turkey's military is engaged in a conflict in
southeast Turkey with Turkey's separatist Kurdistan
Workers Party (PKK) militants.
Turkey's government is currently working on a
"Kurdish initiative" aimed at addressing decades-old
Kurdish complaints of discrimination,www.ekurd.net
which it hopes will
erode support for the PKK.
Over 44,000 Turkish soldiers and Kurdish PKK
guerrillas have been killed since 1984 when the
Turkey's Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) took up arms
for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast of
Turkey (Turkey-Kurdistan). A large Turkey's Kurdish
community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK
rebels. Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish
population as a distinct minority.
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,www.ekurd.net
the party also demanded an end to ethnic
discrimination in Turkish laws and constitution
against Kurds, ranting them full political freedoms.
The PKK is considered a '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.
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,www.ekurd.net
but Kurdish politicians
say the measures fall short of their expectations.
Copyright, respective author or news agency, 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
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 25 million live in
Turkey. A large
Turkey's Kurdish community 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"
North Kurdistan (