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 Turkey’s top brass meets on Kurdish PKK rebels in Syrian Kurdistan

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Turkey’s top brass meets on Kurdish PKK rebels in Syrian Kurdistan  25.7.2012  

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Turkish ground Forces Commander and acting Chief of Staff General Necdet Ozel. Photo: Getty Images. See Related Links
July 25, 2012

ANKARA, — Turkey's top brass held talks Wednesday about the activities of Kurdish rebels in Syrian Kurdish region (Western Kurdistan), after press reports that they were in control of several northern areas of the conflict-torn nation.

"The latest developments in Syria, the activities of the terrorist separatist group in our country and in neighboring countries were discussed at the meeting," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office said.

"Supplementary measures to be taken in all domains regarding our national security were discussed," it said in a statement after the meeting grouping top security, military and political officials.

It did not elaborate on the possible security measures.

The Turkish press has reported that parts of northern Syria have fallen into the hands of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) or its Syrian branch the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

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.

The Turkish press accuses the Syrian regime of entrusting its northern border zones to the PKK to enable them to operate more freely and to fuel the separatist aspirations of Turkish Kurds.

Ankara, a one-time Damascus ally, has become a vehement critic of the Syrian regime since President Bashar al-Assad's forces unleashed a crackdown against dissent in March last year.

The head of the umbrella opposition group the Syrian National Council said earlier this week that Syrian forces had "entrusted" the northern region to the PKK or the PYD and then withdrawn.

"The Kurdish people are not on the side of these groups, they're on the side of the rebellion," said Abdel Basset Sayda, himself a Kurd.

Kurds represent around nine percent of Syria's 23 million population.

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.

Copyright ©, respective author or news agency, AFP | | Agencies


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