Seven Turkish Troops Killed By PKK Rebels
Seven Turkish soldiers were killed on Tuesday in an attack of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which staged a coordinated attack with rocket launchers and rifles against military outposts in Hakkari province, near the border with Iraq. The Turkish troops said that the PKK rebels crossed the border into Turkey to stage their attacks.
Turkish army said that 10 Kurd people were killed in the subsequent clashes that broke out immediately after the killing of the seven soldiers. The incursion of the Kurdish rebels in the Turkish territory has soured the ties with the Kurdish Regional Government in Northern Iraq, ties that had been boosted over the past few years due to very fruitful economic trade agreements.
The move of the rebels comes at a time when Turkish Prime Minister is in Mexico, attending the Group of 20 in Los Cabos, and follows some serious concessions on the part of the Turkish government, which agreed that soon the children in schools may take optional courses in Kurdish language, which was considered until recently by Ankara as “mountain Turk,” not a language that is different from the official language of the country.
There are voices among the Turkish analysts who consider that the attack on the Turkish troops is staged by some of the members of PKK who are opposed to a possible settlement of the issues between the government and the rebels.
A prominent Kurdish member of the Turkish parliament last week said that it was in agreement with the views of the prime minister regarding the solution of the Turkish crisis, and added that the premier had agreed to meet her.
The government made it clear that it wanted no talks with the members of the PKK unless they laid down weapons first, nor did they want to have Abdullah Ocealan, former leader of PKK who is serving a sentence in an island prison, as a dialogue partner.
Today’s Zaman said that following the clashes, the political leader of Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) demanded PKK to lay down weapons and allow an end to the bloodshed.
Selahattin Demirtaş offered his condolences to the families of the slain Turkish troops and added that the war between the Kurds and the Turks should end, and that the Turks and the Kurds should not kill each other anymore.
The attack on Tuesday follows the attack on October 2007 and other attacks in 2011, which claimed the lives of many Turkish soldiers and Kurdish rebels. PKK is fighting for autonomy in the southeastern provinces of Turkey.
PKK is a Marxist organization, and its confrontation with the Turkish troops has caused the lives of tens of thousands. The organization is labeled by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.11