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  1. #1

    Turkey, Iran Undertake Joint Military Offensive Against Kurdish Rebels

    Turkey, Iran Undertake Joint Military Offensive Against Kurdish Rebels

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkey's prime minister on Sunday signaled a joint military offensive with Iran against their common enemy: Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq.

    Turkey and Iran were working together and "determined," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

    "There is no question of any postponement," Erdogan said in a clear reference to a possible joint military operation against the main Kurdish rebel base on Qandil Mountain which sits on the Iraqi-Iranian border deep inside northern Iraq.

    "I regret to say this but there will be a price for it," Erdogan said, apparently referring to possible military losses in a cross-border offensive against the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which has been waging a war for autonomy in Turkey's southeast.

    It was not immediately clear if the two countries are planning a highly risky and difficult ground offensive at Qandil, which has reportedly been turned into a mine field by the rebels to protect themselves.

    The Party of Free Life of Kurdistan, or PEJAK, which is an offshoot of the PKK that the U.S. and the European Union have labeled a terrorist group, is also struggling for autonomy for Iran's Kurds because of alleged Tehran government discrimination. Kurds make up 14 percent of Iran's population.

    Iranian artillery units often fire salvos at Qandil, and Turkish warplanes stage bombing raids against suspected rebel bases there, but the rebels reportedly rush into deep caves when they hear the whistling shells or the roar of the jets.

    The Kurdish provinces of northern Iraq are the country's most stable and prosperous area. But to neighboring Iran and Turkey, both with large Kurdish minorities, they are something else: an inspiration and a support base for the Kurdish rebels in their own countries.

    Turkey has already been pressing the U.S.-backed Iraqi government to clamp down on Kurdish guerrillas who use Iraq as a base. The Iranians and Turks fear Kurdish success in creating an autonomous region in northern Iraq, and the prosperity of their enclave, encourages their own Kurdish minorities.

    The U.S. has been providing Turkey with intelligence from its Predator drones and now Erdogan says Washington is likely to agree to the deployment of Predators on Turkish soil once its troops leave Iraq at the end of this year. Turkey already operates some Israeli-made Heron drones to stage pinpoint attacks against the rebels.

    Kurdish rebels have dramatically escalated their attacks in Turkey since July, killing dozens of security personnel and at least 10 civilians -- including three people in a car bombing in the Turkish capital last week.

    On Saturday, the rebels attacked a Turkish army outpost, killing six soldiers and wounding 11 in the country's southeast, authorities said. Three rebels also were killed in the ensuing clash near the town of Pervari in Siirt province.

    The attacks came after Turkish warplanes started to bomb suspected Kurdish rebel hideouts in neighboring northern Iraq, including the main rebel base on Qandil, in mid-August in response to the surge in rebel violence. Turkey's military claimed to have killed up to 160 rebels in airstrikes in August, but the rebels disputed it.

    Erdogan said Friday that Turkey would only halt its military drive if the rebels "lay down their arms," days after confirming reports that government officials met with representatives of Kurdish rebels in Europe. The secret talks, which apparently failed to produce any tangible results, came to light after some websites posted an audio recording from an alleged 2010 meeting.

    On Sunday, Erdogan left the door open for dialogue, while saying his country would maintain its fight against "terrorism."

    Turkey, Iran Undertake Joint Military Offensive Against Kurdish Rebels

  2. #2

    In Turkey, the only language of instruction in the education system is Turkish.[1] The Kurdish population of Turkey has long sought to have Kurdish included as a language of instruction in public schools as well as a subject. Several attempts at opening Kurdish instruction centers were stopped on technical grounds, such as wrong dimensions of doors. An experiment at running Kurdish-language schools was wound up in 2004 because of an apparent lack of interest.

    Kurdish is permitted as a subject in universities, but in reality there are no such courses on offer.

    Human rights of Kurdish people in Turkey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Due to the large number of Turkish Kurds, successive governments have viewed the expression of a Kurdish identity as a potential threat to Turkish unity, a feeling that has been compounded since the armed rebellion initiated by the PKK in 1984. One of the main accusations of cultural assimilation relates to the state's historic suppression of the Kurdish language. Kurdish publications created throughout the 1960s and 1970s were shut down under various legal pretexts.[4] Following the military coup of 1980, the Kurdish language was officially prohibited in government institutions.[5]

    US Congressman Bob Filner spoke of a "cultural genocide", stressing that "a way of life known as Kurdish is disappearing at an alarming rate".[6] Mark Levene suggests that the genocidal practices were not limited to cultural genocide, and that the events of the late 19th century continued until 1990.[7]

    Certain academics have claimed that successive Turkish governments adopted a sustained genocide program against Kurds, aimed at their assimilation.[8] The genocide hypothesis remains, however, a minority view among historians, and is not endorsed by any nation or major organisation. Desmond Fernandes, a Senior Lecturer at De Montfort University, breaks the policy of the Turkish authorities into the following categories:[9]

    1. Forced assimilation program, which involved, among other things, a ban of the Kurdish language, and the forced relocation of Kurds to non-Kurdish areas of Turkey.
    2. The banning of any organizations opposed to category one.
    3. The violent repression of any Kurdish resistance.

    Since the Armenian genocide, Turkey has done very well to hide and disguise its dark history from the international community. But a shady past rarely dawns a bright future.

    Instead, Turkey is re-branding itself with Europe-friendly terms to essentially get rid of what it has always wanted to be rid of. Turkey’s tidy up of its language: words with a distinct Kurdish origin wiped out and replaced. Indeed, anything that is not strictly Turkish has been linked to “terrorism” – a trigger word guaranteed to win the sympathies of the international community.

    The Turkish constitution does not recognise Kurds in Turkey, and so often labels them as terrorists, providing a convenient scapegoat for military uprisings and other political issues. Thus, “terrorist” becomes a synonym for Kurds.

    Turkey frequently argues that the PKK is a terrorist organisation; hence all Kurdish organisations are banned for what they may imply.

    Turkey is desperately in need of an imaginary threat to its “national security”, “territorial integrity” and “sovereignty”, achieved by “separatist/terrorist” Kurds. The scale of the suffering Kurds and destruction of Kurdish homeland does not fit into any “terrorist” definition. In 1999, the death toll of Kurds killed in Turkish military operations increased to over 40,000. According to the figures published by Turkey’s own Parliament, 6,000 Kurdish villages were systematically evacuated of all inhabitants and 3,000,000 Kurds have been displaced. This sounds like an elimination of a people, a culture and a homeland. News about Kurds and Kurdistan

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