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 PKK claims responsibility for Turkey suicide car bomb attack 

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PKK claims responsibility for Turkey suicide car bomb attack  27.5.2012  
By staff writers

The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) [Hêzên Parastina Gel - HPG] 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 political freedoms. . Photo: HPG See Related Links
May 27, 2012

ANKARA, — The guerrillas from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) [The People Defense Forces Hêzên Parastina Gel - HPG] claimed responsibility on Saturday for a suicide car bomb attack in central Turkey that killed one Turkish policeman, and media reports said the bombers had entered Turkey from Syria.

One Turkish police officer and three more people (believed to be Kurdish guerrillas) lost their life in the attack. A bomb detonated in the car the guerrillas were driving towards a police station, ANF news agency reported.

Four suspects have been detained in connection with the attack, Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin told reporters.

Two militants set off a bomb inside their car near a police station at Pinarbasi in Turkey's central Kayseri province on Friday, killing themselves and one policeman and wounding 18 others.

A statement on a PKK website said Pinarbasi was the intended target and the bombing was a response to Turkish military attacks, rejecting Turkish media reports that the actual target was in the capital Ankara.

"We have seized four people. Their foreign links have been revealed," Sahin said.

He did not elaborate but broadcaster NTV reported security sources as saying the bombers entered Turkey from neighboring Syria which is in the grip of a the 14-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian border region is not generally an area of major PKK activity but this month, three Turkish soldiers were killed in clashes with the rebels near the border, a region which has seen thousands of refugees fleeing from the Syrian conflict.

The PKK threatened in March to step up attacks in Turkey if its forces entered Syria after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, one of Assad's most vocal critics, mooted the possibility of establishing buffer zones within Syria to protect civilians.

The PKK threat signaled a possible renewed alliance with Damascus, which backed the rebels in the 1980s and 1990s.

Sahin said on Friday police followed the car from Goksun district in Kahramanmaras to Pinarbasi, about 100 km (60 miles), after it passed a checkpoint in the road without stopping.

Police opened fire as it passed the Pinarbasi police station and the bomb was detonated. Pinarbasi is east of Kayseri city, some 325 km (200 miles) southeast of the capital Ankara.

The PKK has several times proposed peaceful solutions regarding Kurdish problem, Turkey has always refused saying that it will not negotiate with “terrorists”.

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 and 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: Reuters | | | Agencies  

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