15 Kurdish PKK rebels killed by Turkish
forces in southeast
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. Photo: HPG
July 25, 2012
DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish
region of Turkey, — Turkish security forces killed
at least 15 Kurdish rebels in a raid near the
country's border with Iraq's Kurdistan region after
tracking them with drones and attacking them with
helicopters and on the ground, officials said on
Wednesday, Reuters reported.
They said drones spotted a group of Kurdish fighters
who blocked roads on Monday in Kurdish Hakkari
province in Turkey's Kurdistan, then pinpointed them
for an attack when the Kurdish fighters returned to
the same area on Tuesday evening.
Three Turkish soldiers were injured in clashes that
ensued, the security officials said.
The region is the theatre of a 28-year-old conflict
between Turkish forces and fighters of the Kurdistan
Workers Party (PKK), which in various incarnations
has waged a campaign for autonomy in the largely
Kurdish southeast of Turkey.
Turkey has cemented ties with the Kurdish leadership
of Iraq's semi-autonomous north, where the PKK has a
military presence, through trade and investment, but
remains wary that the example of Kurdish self-rule
in Iraq and deepening chaos in neighbouring Syria
could inflame its own Kurdish conflict.
Syrian Kurdish opposition figures say Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad's forces have quit the
Kurdish areas of Hassaka and Aleppo provinces in
Syrian Kurdistan (Western Kurdistan), which border
Turkey, leaving them under the control of the PKK-linked
Democratic Union Party (PYD).
The head of the Syrian National Council - which
aspires to political leadership of the revolt
against Assad and much of whose leadership is in
Turkey - said Assad's troops had lost control of
some parts of those regions,www.ekurd.net
but that the Syrian opposition did not endorse any
Kurdish separatist project.
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
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
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.
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