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November 10, 2012

Seventeen soldiers die in Turkey helicopter crash

Seventeen soldiers die in Turkey helicopter crash

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Seventeen soldiers have died today as the result of a helicopter crash in Turkey’s southeastern Siirt Province, Governor Ahmed Aydin has said. The provincial governor added that the fatalities belonged to Turkish special forces.

Investigations into the crash are ongoing, although Governor Ahmed Aydin has said the aircraft hit Herekol mountain as it travelled through heavy fog.

The soldiers were reportedly on their way to deployment against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK seeks to increase rights for Kurdish citizens and gain autonomy in the southeast of Turkey, which is a predominantly Kurdish area. The Turkish Government have been fighting with the PKK for decades.

Kurdish militants, though active in this part of Turkey, do not appear to have played any part in the crash.



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December 14, 2009

Turkey bans pro-Kurdish party

Turkey bans pro-Kurdish party – Wikinews, the free news source

Turkey bans pro-Kurdish party

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Turkey’s constitutional court has banned the Democratic Society Party (DTP), the country’s largest pro-Kurdish political party. The court found it guilty on Friday of supporting violence and being linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party, a Kurdish rebel group better known as the PKK.

The move has sparked violent protests across the country and caused the DTP to announce a boycott of parliament.

The party’s two leaders, Ahmet Türk and Aysel Tuğluk, were banned from politics for five years and expelled from the Turkish parliament. On Saturday, Türk announced that the remainder of DTP’s parliament members would also pull out. They had held 21 seats out of a total of 550.

Cquote1.svg No party has the right to utilize discourse and activities that contain terror, violence and pressure. Cquote2.svg

—Haşim Kılıç, head of Turkey’s constitutional court

The verdict comes as the government is attempting to bring an end to 25 years of fighting with the Kurdish rebels, and follows weeks of intensified ethnic violence.

The judges of Turkey’s constitutional court took only three days of deliberating over the evidence to unanimously rule that the DTP was guilty of inciting hatred and violence and was linked to the PKK. Haşim Kılıç, the head of the court, explained their decision.

Flag of the PKK

“No party has the right to utilize discourse and activities that contain terror, violence and pressure. A party should separate activities and discourses that contain violence and terror from the peaceful ones”, he said.

Speaking shortly after the ruling, Türk condemned the court’s decision.

Cquote1.svg We are hopeful that Turkey will find its peace one day. But by closing a political party you can’t solve the problem. Turkey can only solve its problems through reason and dialog. Cquote2.svg

—Ahmet Türk, DTP leader

“This deepens the desperation”, he says. “This is a reality. But we are hopeful that Turkey will find its peace one day. But by closing a political party you can’t solve the problem. Turkey can only solve its problems through reason and dialog.”

Kılıç acknowledged the ramifications of his decision:

“Some people will say this verdict will sabotage the peace process, but this case is two years old, and we are judges not politicians.” He says no country in Europe would allow such a party to exist.

In justifying the ruling Kılıç also said they had studied similar cases in the European Union – in particular the closure by Spanish courts of the pro-Basque Batasuna party. But the EU later issued a statement that “while strongly denouncing violence and terrorism, the presidency recalls that the dissolution of political parties is an exceptional measure that should be used with utmost restraint.”

Such concerns will likely affect Turkey’s relations with the EU, which it is currently seeking to join. This is the 27th time a Turkish political party has been shut down since 1968.

Turkish president Abdullah Gül expressed his approval of the decision. Speaking during his visit to Montenegro, he asked: “What else can the court do when there are party administrators who declare the terrorist organization to be their reason of existence?”

The PKK are listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkish authorities, the EU and the United States. They have been engaged in an armed struggle against the government since 1984. An estimated 40,000 people have been killed in the fighting.

The verdict comes after weeks of ethnic violence, in which Kurdish youths have been clashing with security forces across cities in Turkey’s predominately Kurdish southeast. The demonstrations were in response to alleged mistreatment of Abdullah Öcalan, founder of the PKK, whilst in prison. A pro-Kurdish protester was shot dead in Diyarbakır last weekend, sparking further unrest. Turkish nationalists have also been demonstrating, following the killing of seven Turkish soldiers by the PKK in central Turkey on Monday.

Almost immediately following the verdict, violence erupted in the predominantly Kurdish south-east of the country between advocates of the party and Turkish riot police.



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August 11, 2008

Roadside bomb in Turkey kills nine soldiers, injures two

Roadside bomb in Turkey kills nine soldiers, injures two

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Monday, August 11, 2008

A map highlighting the Erzincan Province
Image: Anonymous101 and Florenco.

At least nine Turkish soldiers were killed and two others injured after their military vehicle ran over a roadside bomb near a bridge in Kemah, Turkey. Originally, eight were reported dead, but one of the injured later died at a local hospital.

Governor Ali Gungor of the Erzincan Province has stated that after the explosion, the vehicle was attacked. Reuters states that militants with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party were responsible for the attack and that military personnel were searching for more attackers.

The attack occurred in an area where Turkey has been frequently fighting militants of the PKK. Recently, the Turkish military launched airstrikes in Iraq in an attempt to disable the group. Turkey has been fighting militants of the PKK since 1984.



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February 27, 2008

Iraq demands immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops

Iraq demands immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Iraq
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The Iraqi government has demanded the immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops, saying the five-day incursion is threatening their otherwise friendly relations.

Iraq’s council of ministers says the Turkish military is violating Iraqi sovereignty by conducting the incursion into Kurdish areas of northern Iraq.

Ali al-Dabbagh, the spokesman for the Iraqi government, says the government rejects the unilateral Turkish incursion because it is a threat to their good neighborly relations.

The Turkish military crossed into Iraq to chase out Kurdish rebels from the Kurdistan Workers Party. The rebels want autonomy for Kurds in Turkey and have used bases inside Iraq to launch attacks on Turkish forces.

Al-Dabbagh acknowledged the threat posed to Turkey by the rebels and said the government stands ready for dialogue.

About 20 percent of Turkish citizens are Kurds and in the southeast, bordering Iraq, they make up the majority. But Kurds in Turkey say their culture and language are oppressed.

Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, president of the Iraqi Parliament, says they have asked Turkey to resolve the situation peacefully. He says the Turks should hold a referendum in south Turkey to give the Kurds the rights they want.

Iraq’s Shiite parliament ministers issued a statement rejecting the Turkish military operation and supporting calls for their immediate withdrawal.

Elsewhere, a suicide bomber detonated in a bus near the northern city of Mosul, killing at least nine and wounding several others.

Meanwhile, millions of Shiites in Iraq gathered in the southern Iraqi city of Karbala for Arbaeen, a major Shiite commemoration.

Iraqi TV showed huge crowds of Shiites walking in procession, beating drums, and whipping and hitting themselves in ritual prostration.

More than 60 Shiite pilgrims were killed while making their way to Karbala this week, most of them from a Sunday suicide bombing.



Related news

  • “Suicide bomb kills 40 in Iraq” — Wikinews, February 24, 2008
  • “Turkey sends thousands of troops into northern Iraq” — Wikinews, February 22, 2008

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February 22, 2008

Turkey sends thousands of troops into northern Iraq

Turkey sends thousands of troops into northern Iraq

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Friday, February 22, 2008

CIA map of Iraq (2003)

Reports say that Turkey has sent at least 10,000 troops into northern Iraq in an attempt to take down terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and their bases of operations. Reports also say that thousands more Turkish troops are prepared to enter Iraq if needed.

“The Turkish Armed Forces, which attach great importance to Iraq’s territorial integrity and stability, will return home in the shortest time possible after its goals have been achieved,” said a statement posted on the Turkish military’s website.

The United States military in Iraq is “aware” that Turkish troops have begun to enter the country and Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a U.S. military spokesman states that “Turkey has given its assurances it will do everything possible to avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians or Kurdish infrastructure.”

“The United States continues to support Turkey’s right to defend itself from the terrorist activities of the PKK and has encouraged Turkey to use all available means, to include diplomacy and close coordination with the Government of Iraq to ultimately resolve this issue,” stated Smith.

On Thursday February 21, Turkish troops began to take out buildings in abandoned villages believed to be hideouts for militants of the PKK.



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January 3, 2008

Car bomb explodes in Turkey, killing 4 and injuring many

Car bomb explodes in Turkey, killing 4 and injuring many

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Map highlighting the location of Diyarbakir Province in Turkey.

A car bomb has exploded in Diyarbakir, a city in the southeastern part of Turkey. According to the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at least 4 people have died in the attack and 52 others have been injured.

The bombing, which took place in the city center, approximately 100 yards from a military post, was apparently targeting a passing military vehicle. Many Turkish troops currently fighting rebels from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) are based in the city, which also has a large Kurdish population.

The prime minister blamed the attack on terrorists in a nationally televised speech, while other authorities placed the blame on Kurdish rebels. Two suspects have been apprehended by police.

“Such events will not disrupt our determination against terrorism. Our struggle both on international and national levels will continue with the same determination.” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

The explosion occurred at 4:55 p.m. local time, and could be heard up to two miles away. Several cars were engulfed in flames and windows shattered from the force of the blast.

Two of the dead were reportedly soldiers. Among the injured were students attending a nearby private school at the time of the explosion.



Related news

  • “Turkey carries out more air strikes in northern Iraq” — Wikinews, December 26, 2007
  • “Turkey preparing for incursion into Iraq after PKK militants kill 17 soldiers” — Wikinews, October 21, 2007
  • “Turkey – Two more killed in PKK-related bombings” — Wikinews, September 4, 2006

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December 26, 2007

Turkey carries out more air strikes in northern Iraq

Turkey carries out more air strikes in northern Iraq

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Iraq
Other stories from Iraq
…More articles here
Location of Iraq

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To write, edit, start or view other articles on Iraq, see the Iraq Portal
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File:TuAF1.jpg

Turkish F-16s refuelling.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Officials say that Turkish warplanes have bombed suspected Kurdish rebel hideouts in northern Iraq for the fourth time in five days. There is no information on whether there were any casualties.

The Turkish military says the aircraft hit eight caves and hideouts used by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels Wednesday in Iraq’s Dahuk Governorate.

Turkish state media quote President Abdullah Gül as saying that Ankara and Washington are satisfied with their cooperation in sharing intelligence to fight the PKK.

A White House spokesman reiterated today that the United States regards the PKK as a terrorist group. But, he says the Bush administration has expressed concern to Ankara about any steps that could lead to civilian casualties.

In another development, the Turkish military says troops killed six PKK rebels and captured two others Wednesday in a security operation in southeastern Turkey, near the Iraqi border.

It says troops have killed 11 rebels in the operation in Şırnak province since Tuesday.

The military said Tuesday that it has killed at least 150 to 175 Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq since December 16, when it began cross-border bombing raids. There has been no independent verification of rebel casualties.

Ankara had threatened to attack PKK bases in northern Iraq in response to a series of deadly ambushes by the group in southeastern Turkey in recent months. The Turkish parliament authorized cross-border operations against the group in October.

The PKK has been fighting for self-rule in southeastern Turkey since 1984. The conflict has killed more than 30,000 people.



Related news

  • “Turkey launches airstrikes against Kurdish rebels” — Wikinews, October 24, 2007
  • “Turkey preparing for incursion into Iraq after PKK militants kill 17 soldiers” — Wikinews, October 21, 2007
  • “Turkish Parliament approves military action in Iraq” — Wikinews, October 18, 2007

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November 6, 2007

Bush pledges support for Turkey after meeting with PM

Bush pledges support for Turkey after meeting with PM

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

President George W. Bush meets with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the Oval Office on November 5, 2007.

On Monday, the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid an official state visit to the United States. During his visit, he met with President George W. Bush in the White House for talks that centered on the Turkey-PKK conflict and the Iraq War.

Turkey is concerned about attacks by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that originate from within the borders of Iraq. There have been cross-border clashes between Turkey and the PKK. Turkey has threatened a major incursion, something the US seeks to avoid, as it could upset the relative calm in northern Iraq. The PKK has been listed as a terrorist organization by a number of countries and organizations. The PKK’s goal has been to create an independent socialist Kurdish state in a territory which it claims as Kurdistan, an area that comprises parts of south-eastern Turkey, north-eastern Iraq, north-eastern Syria and north-western Iran.

After the meeting, Bush said of the PKK that “they are an enemy of Turkey, they are an enemy of Iraq, and they are an enemy of the United States.” He pledged additional intelligence to help Turkey, an offer that was also made by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last week, during her Middle East tour.

We talked about the need to have better intelligence-sharing. In order to chase down people who murder people you need good intelligence. And we talked about the need for our military to stay in constant contact. To this end, the Prime Minister and I have set up a tripartite arrangement, for his number two man in the military to stay in touch with our number man and General Petraeus.
 
— George W. Bush

Bush further offered mutual military assistance with both Turkey and Iraq to fight the PKK. “We want to work in a close way to deal with this problem,” he said.

Erdogan mentioned during the post-meeting news conference that the Grand National Assembly of Turkey has already authorized military action in Iraq. He did not, however, say whether such action would be imminent.

There is a lot of difficulty in the region in general. And I believe that it falls to us, it’s a responsibility for us as strategic partners to work to ensure that we overcome these difficulties and solve them. I have also seen that the President and I agree on these points, and I’m very happy to see that.
 
— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Neither leader indicated to what level, if any, that direct military cooperation would exist.

Ali Babacan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Turkey, was last week not so impressed by Rice’s offers. “We are at the point where words have been exhausted and where there is need for action,” he said on Friday.

“The Bush administration would like to just kick this can down the road,” said Bulent Aliriza, a political observer for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The problem is, the can has been kicked down the road to the point where now it can’t be kicked anymore.”



Related news

  • “Turkey launches airstrikes against Kurdish rebels” — Wikinews, October 24, 2007
  • “Turkey preparing for incursion into Iraq after PKK militants kill 17 soldiers” — Wikinews, October 21, 2007
  • “Turkish Parliament approves military action in Iraq” — Wikinews, October 18, 2007
  • Kurdish militants in Iraq declare cease-fire with Turkey” — Wikinews, June 12, 2007

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October 24, 2007

Turkey launches airstrikes against Kurdish rebels

Turkey launches airstrikes against Kurdish rebels

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Map of Kurdish-inhabited area, circa 1992

According to reports, Turkey has today launched airstrikes against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) bases near the border to Iraq. F-16 fighter jets and helicopter gunships are said to have bombed targets on both sides of the border.

Turkish officials said that a major incursion was not implemented at this time to give diplomacy a final chance. An Iraqi delegation, headed by defense minister Qadir Obeidi (aka Abdel Qader Jassim), is scheduled to visit Turkey on Thursday.

“We do not accept in any way… the use of Iraqi territories, including the territories of the Kurdistan region, as a base to threaten the security of neighbouring countries,” Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, said in a statement condemning the PKK.

“We are concerned about the continuing skirmishes that are happening up there, and terrorist attacks that are being launched by the PKK against the Turks,” White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said.



Related news

  • “Turkey preparing for incursion into Iraq after PKK militants kill 17 soldiers” — Wikinews, October 21, 2007
  • “Turkish Parliament approves military action in Iraq” — Wikinews, October 18, 2007

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October 21, 2007

Turkey preparing for incursion into Iraq after PKK militants kill 17 soldiers

Turkey preparing for incursion into Iraq after PKK militants kill 17 soldiers

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

As many as 17 Turkish soldiers were killed and 16 were injured in an ambush after Iraqi Kurdish militants (PKK) attacked the patrol in Hakkari Province on the Iraq-Turkey border. As a result, a large battle erupted and at least 32 Kurdish militants were killed.

“Although it respects Iraq’s territorial integrity, Turkey will not tolerate that terrorism be aided and abetted and will not be afraid to pay, whatever the price may be, to protect its rights, its indivisible unity and its citizens. The fight against the separatist terrorist organization will be waged with determination until the very end,” said Turkey’s top officials in a statement issued to the media, after an emergency meeting was held in regards to the battle.

Turkey has been building up troops along its border with Iraq with reports suggesting as many as 60,000 are currently stationed there. On Wednesday, Turkey approved a measure that authorized sending troops into Iraq to take out PKK militants, but on Sunday an official said that the incursion into Iraq was not urgent.

“There are plans to cross the border, but not urgently. We’d like to do these things with the Americans,” said Turkish defense minister, Vecdi Gonul.

The U.S. has stated repeatedly that they are against any military action against the PKK and believe that it would cause even more instability in the region.

“These attacks are unacceptable and must stop now. Attacks from Iraqi territory need to be dealt with swiftly by the Iraqi government and Kurdish regional authorities,” said a spokesman for U.S. President George W. Bush, Gordon Johndroe.

Iraq has spoken out against the attacks by the PKK and has condemned any such attacks on Turkish soldiers saying “Iraq’s parliament unanimously votes to condemn the threat of using force to solve the dispute. It feels that the Turkish parliament’s decision to use force does not boost bilateral relations.”

Leaders in the Kurdish controlled areas of Iraq state that any attack on them would be met with retaliation.



Related News

  • “Turkish Parliament approves military action in Iraq” — Wikinews, October 18, 2007

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