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 Two Turkish troops killed in clash with PKK rebels in Turkey's Kurdish region

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Two Turkish troops killed in clash with PKK rebels in Turkey's Kurdish region  3.8.2012  

Turkish troops in Semdinli town of southeastern Hakkari province 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: DHA
August 3, 2012

SEMDINLI, The Kurdish region of Turkey, — Two Turkish soldiers were killed and seven others wounded Thursday in an attack by Kurdish rebels in the Kurdish region (Northern Kurdistan) in country's southeast, local security sources said.

Members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) struck at a military post in Eruh town of Siirt province, they said. A counter attack was launched following the incident.

The wounded troops were transferred to nearby hospitals.

The attack follows similar assaults in Turkey's Kurdish dominated southeast, where at least six more soldiers were killed during the week in separate clashes.

They come against the backdrop of a major Turkish ground and air offensive, one of the biggest in years, to drive out the rebels in Semdinli town of southeastern Hakkari province on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan region.

Turkish media reported Thursday that close to 1,000 villagers were evacuated from Semdinli town to avoid civilian casualties, and Turkish military was keeping the zone sealed off for security reasons.

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.

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


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