Kurdish War: Caught Between Arabs And Turks


September 18, 2009: Iraqi Kurd and Iraqi Arab politicians are wrangling over Nineveh province. A substantial number of Kurds living in Nineveh have begun talking about declaring “independence” from the province. The Iraqi Kurds claim the Arab politicians in the province are corrupt and some are “aligned with insurgents” (ie, former members of Saddam Hussein's regime). Sixteen Kurdish mayors have threatened “secession.” The charges are not new, but the Iraqi Kurds are fed up with poor services, bad administration, and what they see as a failure by the government to stop “Arab bombings” (ie, terror attacks by ethnic Arab terrorists, either Saddamists or Al Qaeda In Mesopotamia terrorists). The trouble in northern Iraq does not directly affect Turkey's “Kurdish trouble,” but PKK radicals have a dream that internal troubles in Iraq will resurrect their rebellion. The thing is, many Iraqi Kurds also say they want “Iraq to work.” Corruption in the national and provincial government is not “working.”

September 15, 2009: Three PKK rebel fighters and one Turkish soldier died in a firefight near Cukurca (southeastern Turkey, near the Iraq border).

September 12, 2009: Two Turkish civilians were wounded by a mine laid by the PKK near the town of Kulp (southeastern Turkey, near Diyarbakir).

September 9, 2009: The Turkish government's Higher Education Board (YOK) is playing a role in the government's peace initiative. Turkish Kurds have complained bitterly about “language rights” (ie, the right to use the Kurdish language). Now the government says Turkish Kurds can study Kurdish at Artuklu University (which is located in Mardin in southeastern Turkey). The program is also being billed by Turkish academics as an outreach to Iraqi Kurds.

Two Turkish soldiers were killed by a “remotely-detonated mine” in Van province. Seven soldiers were wounded in the incident.

September 8, 2009: The Turkish government reported PKK rebels launched two attacks on Turkish security forces. A attack in Siirt killed five Turkish soldiers. An attack in Hakkari province left one soldier dead.

September 4, 2009: Turkey's powerful Interior Ministry said that the government has “no plans” to grant amnesty to PKK rebels. This follows statements in late August by senior Turkish military leaders that the military opposes amnesty. What this means is the security forces (military and paramilitary) oppose amnesty for PKK commanders and other senior leaders. The Turkish government now says that over 44,000 people have died in the "Kurdish war" since 1984.

September 2, 2009: An estimated 100,000 Turkish Kurds demonstrated in Diyarbakir (southeastern Turkey). They want the Turkish government to reach a peace agreement with the PKK. Speakers also clamored for more Kurdish ethnic rights in Turkey. Other demonstrations occurred in southeastern Turkey, most organized by the predominantly ethnic Kurd Democratic Society Party (DTP).



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