Turkish jets strike Iraqi Kurdistan: PKK
By ekurd.net staff writers
March 15, 2012
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, the party also demanded an
end to ethnic discrimination in Turkish laws and
constitution against Kurds, ranting them full
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Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — A Kurdish rebel group
said on Wednesday that Turkey's air force carried
out strikes on border areas with Iraqi Kurdistan
where it maintains rear bases, but gave no details
about casualties or damage.
The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) also claimed a
March 1 bombing in Istanbul that wounded 16 people,
nearly all of them police officers, in an attack
near the headquarters of Turkey's ruling party.
"On March 13, between 9:00 pm (1800 GMT) and 10:30
pm (1930 GMT), Turkish combat aircraft started air
raids and bombings" against areas in Duhok, Iraq's
northernmost province and part of the country's
autonomous Kurdistan region, the PKK said in a
The strikes followed March 8
bombings on nearby areas, according
to the PKK. It has given no details of casualties in
The March 8 strikes were the first reported raids in
around a month on north Iraq's autonomous Kurdish
region, where the PKK maintains rear bases.
Fighting between Turkish forces and PKK rebels has
escalated in recent months.
The PKK in its latest statement claimed a March 1
attack that saw a remote-controlled explosive fitted
to a stationary motorcycle set off close to the
offices of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development
"This operation came after the military and
political cleanse which is being continued by the
Turkish government," the PKK statement said. "Its
aim is a genocide against our people and forces."
In October, Turkey launched a major air and
against the rebels in the southeast of the country
and in neighbouring northern Iraq after 24 of its
troops were killed in a night-time ambush by rebels.
In December, Turkish air strikes
Kurdish civilians near the Iraqi Kurdistan border in
an attack which the government said had been a
as commanders had mistaken them
for PKK fighters.
Since August 2011, Turkish jets repeatedly carried out
air strikes against the Kurdish PKK separatist
group's bases in
Iraqi Kurdish 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
Kurdish civilians in a village north of Kurdistan’s
Sulaimaniyah city on August 21, 2011.
The president of Iraq's autonomous region of
Kurdistan Massoud Barzani said on November 4, 2011 in Ankara,
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
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
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous
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
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
overturned a decision
to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its
political wing on the European Union's terror list.
Sources: AFP | Reuters | ekurd.net | Agencies
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