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 Turkey deploys military on Iraq's Kurdistan border

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Turkey deploys military on Iraq's Kurdistan border  22.11.2011  
By staff writers

November 22, 2011

DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish region of Turkey, — Turkey has deployed a massive military convoy in a southeastern district that borders with Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, Iranian Press TV reported.

Turkish sources said the military convoy is comprised of about 200 military vehicles, including those that are resistant to mine blasts, Press TV's Ankara correspondent reported.

The convoy had reportedly arrived in the Cukurca district of the southeastern Kurdish province of Hakkari [Turkey Kurdistan] on Monday morning and then had moved towards Isikli and Cayirli border points.

Turkey's border areas with Iraq have been previously scene         

Turkey has reportedly deployed 200 military vehicles, including Kirpi armored vehicles (photo), which are resistant to mine blasts.
of Turkish airstrikes against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) guerrillas but reports say that this is the first time that such a huge military convoy has been deployed in the region.

Turkish Cobra helicopters and jammer vehicles accompanied the military convoy as it moved to the border points.

Turkish warplanes carried out an air strike in Iraq's northern Kurdish region on Monday as part of a continued operation against Kurdish PKK rebels, an official from Kurdistan government said.

Also Turkish artillery targeted the PKK bases on Monday in the mountainous Turkish-Kurdistan Region borders following reports that the two sides were holding secret ceasefire talks. Kurdish Firat News Agency quoted PKK sources saying PKK's defensive lines came under Turkish artillery fire late Sunday in Chiya Rash and Tapi Jahanami in the mountainous area of Zab, on the Turkish border, AK news website reported.

The PKK militants launch their attacks from Iraq's Qandil Mountains in the areas under the control of Kurdistan Regional Government.

The president of Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan Massoud Barzani said on Nov.4 in Ankara, that he opposes Turkey’s military campaign against Kurdish PKK rebels in northern Iraq as it will fail to permanently end the conflict.

“Honestly, I disapprove of all these operations ... I don’t think that one can achieve the result with the military option”, Barzani told the Hurriyet newspaper.

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:  | AFP | Reuters | | | Agencies

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