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 Two Turkish soldiers killed in clash with Kurdish PKK rebels

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Two Turkish soldiers killed in clash with Kurdish PKK rebels  1.8.2012  

Turkish soldiers in the Kurdish region in southeastern Turkey (northern Kurdistan). 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. Photo: AFP
August 1, 2012

DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish region of Turkey, — Two Turkish soldiers were killed Wednesday in a clash with Kurdish rebels in the country's southeast, according to local officials.

The troops were killed in an early-morning bomb attack on troops sent to Lice town in southeastern Diyarbakir province in Turkey Kurdistan to push back members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Diyarbakir governor Mustafa Toprak said.

Wednesday's attack follows similar bomb assaults on Turkish security forces in the same zone, which resulted in the death of four soldiers last week.

Several Kurdish rebels were also killed in hot pursuit following the ambushes, according to local security sources.

Ankara has recently launched a large ground offensive against the rebels, whose activity increases in spring and summer, as the mountainous zone allows easier passage from their hideouts across Turkish borders in the southeast.

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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