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 Attack on Turkey-Iraq pipeline knocks out oil flows; PKK blamed

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Attack on Turkey-Iraq pipeline knocks out oil flows; PKK blamed  21.7.2012  
By staff writers

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 political freedoms.
Explosion, fire shuts down Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline flows; PKK blamed

July 21
, 2012

DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish region of Turkey, — Firefighters in Turkey's Kurdish region (Northern Kurdistan) in the southeast on Saturday put out a fire on a pipeline carrying about a quarter of Iraq's oil exports, but it was unclear when oil would resume flowing, security sources said.

They blamed sabotage by Kurdish separatists for the explosion on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline.

The fire broke out at 11 p.m. (1700 EDT) on Friday near the town of Midyat in Kurdish  Mardin province, near the Syrian Kurdistan border.

Officials blamed the attack on the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a Kurdish separatist group that has claimed responsibility for past attacks on the 960-km (600-mile) pipeline.

Meanwhile, it is reported that, in connection with an explosion on a gas pipeline from Iraq to Turkey increased its purchases of gas from Azerbaijan and Russia.

Firat News agency ANF, a website with ties to the PKK, also said the outlawed group was behind the attack.

Insurgents in Iraq have in the past disrupted the transport of oil on the pipeline, the country's largest, and technical faults on the 35-year-old link, which consists of two pipes, have also cut flows.

The PKK has claimed responsibility for attacks on other natural-gas and oil pipelines in what it has calls a campaign to target Turkey's strategic assets.

On July 1, 2012, the PKK claims responsibility for Baku-Tbilisi gas pipeline sabotage: The PKK claimed responsibility  for the explosion on the pipeline in Sarıkamış district of Kars in the Kurdish region in southeastern Turkey near the Armenian border on 29 May

On April 4, 2012, PKK claims responsibility for bombing pipeline in Turkey: The blasts in southeastern Turkey on April 3, temporarily shut down a pipeline pumping oil from Iraq, with Kurdish rebels suspected to be behind the explosions, Turkish authorities said. Three blasts hit the section of the pipeline running near the border city of Idil in the Kurdish Sirnak province, sparking a fire, said a statement by the Sirnak regional government.

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.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous 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.

The PKK wants constitutional recognition for the Kurds, regional self-governance and Kurdish-language education in schools.

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: Reuters | AFP | ANF | | Agencies

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