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 Turkish fighter jets in Iraqi Kurdistan, soldiers deployed on border

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Turkish fighter jets in Iraqi Kurdistan, soldiers deployed on border  12.10.2013


Photo: Internet/UKS See Related Articles

October 12, 2013

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey's Kurdish region,— Five Turkish F-16 fighter jets were scrambled across the border into Iraq's Kurdistan region two days ago to monitor the Kurdish PKK militants who were reportedly and according to Turkish intelligence received reports, are moving towards Turkish territory, world bulletin reported.

They scoured the area for two hours, flying over Kurdistan Workers' Party PKK camps in Qandil, Zap and Metina, collecting information before returning. There has been increasing activity around the camps for the past few days.

According to Turkish intelligence, some factions within the PKK are attempting to re-enter Turkey after the group agreed to withdraw into Iraq's Kurdistan region (Southern Kurdistan) in April.

Meanwhile and according to Firat news agency, thousands of Turkish soldiers from the 48th infantry brigade in Şırnak's Sêgirk (Şenoba) town have been deployed on Iraqi Kurdistan border on Friday,

Turkish military units (Gendarmerie) have recently withdrawn from the Iraq's Kurdistan border after the transfer of the “border protection” authority from the general commandership of gendarmerie to the land forces command.


Caravans have reportedly been sent to the border region where soldiers are currently staying in tents.

The military deployment on Iraq's Kurdistan border came after the Turkish parliament last Thursday extended for one year a mandate that would allow Ankara to order military strikes against the PKK rebels holed up in neighbouring Iraq's Kurdistan region.

 In March the PKK's jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan declared a ceasefire after months of clandestine negotiations with the Turkish secret service.

The PKK last month suspended their planned pullout of Turkish territory, accusing the government of not keeping promises for greater rights for Kurds. Kurdish legislators have said that a package of reforms unveiled by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan falls short of expectations.

The PKK and Kurds in Turkey believe that the right to learn Kurdish language is not enough and demanded teaching the language in public schools, autonomous rule, releasing thousands of imprisoned Kurds and recognition of the Kurdish identity in the Turkish institution.

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. By 2013 more than 45,000 people have since been killed.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous region and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds, who make up around 22.5 million of the country's 75-million population, its goal to political autonomy. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with PKK rebels.

The PKK and Turkey's Kurds want constitutional recognition for the Kurds, regional self-governance and Kurdish-language education in schools.

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.

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