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 Kurdish politicians: We saw PKK guerrillas in Şemdinli, not Turkish security forces

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Kurdish politicians: We saw PKK guerrillas in Şemdinli, not Turkish security forces  19.8.2012  

BDP-DTK delegation carried out a survey in Semdinli area in Turkey's Kurdistan region. Photo: ANF
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August 19, 2012

ŞEMDINLI, Turkey's Kurdish region,— The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and DTK (Democratic Society Congress) delegation encountered a road control by the Kurdistan Wrokers' Party (PKK) guerrillas in Bağlar village of Şemdinli in the Kurdish region in southeastern Turkey on Saturday.

Speaking to ANF after the delegation finished its survey in the region, BDP co-chair Gülten Kışanak said that they didn’t come across any security forces in the region they examined.

“We came across guerrilla forces on the way back from the villages we visited but there were no security forces in the region except for a military point on the way out of Şemdinli province. A large number of cultivated areas and yards were completely burnt out in the villages where people say they are deliberatively targeted by the bombardment of security forces”, said Kışanak.

BDP Mersin MP Ertuğrul Kürkçü also called attention to the lack of presence of Turkish security forces in the region and said on the basis of the information they provided from a village headman that seven out of ten villages in the area have been evacuated because of the clashes.

Especially children have been greatly affected by the bombardment but people don’t want to leave their villages, Kürkçü underlined and added that; “The people we talked to told us that a colonel warned them to leave the region for safety and that none of the authorities has taken a step to ensure their security.”

Kürkçü also gave information about their encountering guerrillas at a road control point; “The group of guerrillas we came across made propaganda for their purpose and said they fight for the freedom and democratization of all peoples in Turkey and the Middle East.”

The Turkish army bombardment and clashes are still going on in Şemdinli (Şemzinan) town of Hakkari province where HPG (People’s Defense Forces), the military wing of PKK rebels have gained dominance since 23 July.

Clashes broke out once again Thursday evening between Kurdish guerrillas and Turkish soldiers in Beresela region near the villages of Bağlar and Tütünlü. The Goman mountain and rural areas of villages of Rüzgarlı (Rubunus), Yiğitler (Nérkule) ve Bağlar(Nehri) were bombed for a long time by Turkish helicopters in the scope of the most recent operation by the army.

On the other hand, one special operation police officer was wounded as a result of an explosion in the garden of the government office in Şemdinli on Thursday.

Kurdish guerrillas in the region set up control points and conducted road-side searches on Thursday and also informed the people about what is going on in the area.

The Turkish army operation in the area was claimed to have been halted early this week but the reports of ongoing clashes and the military activity confirm that Turkish authorities continue to hide the truth from public as to what is going on in the region for the last three weeks.

The operation in the area has also started fires in many forested lands in the region where residents have been forced to leave their villages and all properties in the face of intense Turkish bombings which have been targeting villages as well. Thousands of animals have also been left to their fate in abandoned villages.

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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