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 Barack Obama condemns Kurdish PKK rebel attack on Turkish troops

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Barack Obama condemns Kurdish PKK rebel attack on Turkish troops  19.10.2011  
By staff writers

October 19, 2011

WASHINGTON, — U.S. President Barack Obama says the U.S. strongly condemns what he's calling an "outrageous terrorist attack" against ally Turkey.

Kurdish rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK killed at least 26 Turkish soldiers and wounded more than a dozen others in attacks along the border Wednesday. That prompted a retaliatory attack by Turkish soldiers, air force bombers and helicopter gunships.

Obama says the U.S. will continue to cooperate with the Turkish government as it battles the terrorist threat posed by the PKK rebel group and tries to bring peace to southeast Turkey.         

U.S. president Barack Obama condemns 'outrageous' PKK attack in Turkey.
Obama says the Turkish people, like people everywhere, deserve to live in peace, security and dignity. He issued a statement while traveling Wednesday in Hampton, Va.

Ankara launched a response to the attacks on the ground and in the air. Several hundred Turkish soldiers have crossed into Iraqi Kurdistan region to hunt down PKK rebels, Kurdish news agency Firatnews said.

Turkish air force planes also bombed Kurdish rebel bases in Iraqi Kurdistan in retaliation for the attacks, security sources said. The air raids targeted Qandil region, the main rear base of the PKK, they added.

Since August 17, Turkish jets repeatedly carried out air strikes against the Kurdish PKK separatist group's bases in Iraqi Kurdistan region, under justification of chasing elements of the anti-Ankara PKK, forcing large numbers of Kurdish citizens of those areas to desert their home villages, including an air raid that killed 7 Kurdish civilians in a village north of Kurdistan’s Sulaimaniyah city on August 21st.

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, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous Kurdish 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.

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. 

Sources: AP | | Agencies

Copyright © 2011


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