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 Turkey vows to take every measure against Kurdish PKK rebels in Syrian Kurdistan

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Turkey vows to take every measure against Kurdish PKK rebels in Syrian Kurdistan  29.7.2012  

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Photo: Getty Images.
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July 29, 2012

ANKARA, — Turkey said Sunday it would do everything it could to prevent "terrorist" formations near its border with Syria that would threaten its national security.

"We will not allow the formation of a terrorist structuring near our border," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Turkish television channel Kanal 7.

"We reserve every right ... No matter if it is Al-Qaeda or PKK we would consider it a matter of national security and take every measure," said Davutoglu, without providing specifics about what measures Ankara might take.

Davutoglu's comments came after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Syria of allowing Kurdish rebels a free hand in the north of the conflict-torn country and warned that Ankara would not hesitate to strike.

Turkish newspapers have published with alarm pictures of Kurdish flags flying from buildings in Syrian Kurdistan (Western Kurdistan) in northern Syria and reported that parts of the region had fallen into the hands of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), or its Syrian branch, the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

The foreign minister said some media reports wrongly suggested the entire north of Syria had fallen to the PKK.

"This is not the case," said Davutoglu. But he went on: "I cannot say there is no risk. Even if there is a one percent risk, we would take it seriously for the future of this country."

Relations between Turkey and Syria have deteriorated since the start of the uprising against Assad's rule in Syria in March 2011, with Ankara vehemently criticising the regime's brutal crackdown against dissent.

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.

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