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 Syria must not become a haven for Kurdish PKK: US Secretary of State

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Syria must not become a haven for Kurdish PKK: US Secretary of State  12.8.2012  

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu pose for the media after their news conference in Istanbul August 11, 2012. Photo: Reuters 
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August 12, 2012

ISTANBUL,— US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Saturday that Syria must not become a haven for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels battling Turkey.

"We share Turkey's determination that Syria must not become a haven for PKK terrorists whether now or after the departure of the Assad regime," Clinton told a joint news conference in Istanbul with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu.

The Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian ally of the PKK, has allegedly seized control of several Kurdish towns along Turkey's border with Syria, alarming Ankara, which promptly increased defences on the border.

At the press conference, Davutoglu warned against a "power vacuum" in conflict-torn Syria being exploited by the PKK and said, "We need to take joint efforts to prevent a power vacuum from being formed."

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.

Over 20 million Kurds live in Turkey (northern Kurdistan). Estimated to over 12 million Kurds who live in Iran (Eastern Kurdistan). Nearly 3 million Kurds live in Syria (Western Kurdistan). 4 million Kurds live in Iraq (Southern Kurdistan).

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


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