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 Turkish FM visits Iraqi Kurdistan

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Turkish FM visits Iraqi Kurdistan  1.8.2012 

Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani shake hands with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Erbil, Kurdistan region of Iraq. August 1, 2012. Photo: KRP  See Related Links


Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani (R) welcomes Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu upon his arrival at Erbil's airport, Kurdistan region of Iraq. August 1, 2012. Photo: Reuters  
August 1, 2012

ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu arrived in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region on Wednesday for talks with regional president Massoud Barzani, an AFP correspondent reported.

Kurdish officials said the talks would focus on "the situation of Kurds in Syria."

They emphasized that the situation in Syria is grave. Syrian people continue to suffer. Loss of life and destruction is at unprecedented levels. They underlined that the actions of the Syrian regime and its policy to provoke sectarian and ethnic conflict within the country will further deteriorate the situation. The developments in Syria also pose a threat to regional security and stability. This situation is unacceptable by all standards, Kurdistan presidency website reported.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Syria of allowing Kurdish PKK rebels a free hand in the north of the conflict-torn country and warned that Ankara would not hesitate to strike.

And Davutoglu told Turkish television channel Kanal 7 on Sunday: "We will not allow the formation of a terrorist structuring near our border.

"We reserve every right... No matter if it is Al-Qaeda or the PKK, we would consider it a matter of national security and take every measure," he said.

Turkish newspapers have published with alarm pictures of Kurdish flags flying from buildings in northern Syria and reported that parts of the region have fallen into the hands of the PKK's Syrian ally, the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

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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