Turkey requests US help against Kurd separatists

AFP , Wednesday 21 Sep 2011

Erdogan has submitted a list of requests for help from the United States to counter Kurdish separatists

"There is a list of requests we have conveyed to them regarding the fight against the PKK," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying by, Anatolia news agency on Wednesday., referring to the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), blacklisted as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Erdogan's remarks came at a news conference after a one-and-half-hour meeting with US President Barack Obama in New York on Tuesday, said Anatolia.

Counter-terrorism figured high on the agenda of the Erdogan-Obama meeting, it said as two separate attacks in Turkey put pressure on Erdogan's Islamic-rooted government.

A powerful bomb rocked the centre of Turkish capital Ankara Tuesday, killing three people and injuring at least 15, and immediate suspicion fell on Kurdish separatists.
The same day, a Kurdish rebel attack on a police academy in southeast Turkey left four civilians and one of the assailants dead.

Kurdish rebels have carried out a spate of attacks also targeting civilians in Turkey in recent months.

Turkish aircraft have repeatedly bombed PKK bases in northern Iraq since mid-August. According to the government, more than 100 rebels have been killed. The Turkish military announced on Wednesday it had launched air strikes on "152 targets" of the PKK in northern Iraq since August 17.

In a written statement posted on its website, it added that 58 sorties were conducted against shelters, check points, weaponry and ammunition depots of the organisation in the north of Iraq.

"According to the results, all the targets were hit with precision and destroyed," said the military, adding that "the activities of the separatist terrorist organization in the north of Iraq will be closely monitored and the air operation will continue as new targets are spotted."

The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Ankara and much of the international community, took up arms in Kurdish-majority southeast Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed about 45,000 lives.

In New York, Erdogan said the United States offered Turkey continued support regarding the fight against terrorism, said Anatolia. He added that Washington would continue to supply Turkey with intelligence regarding the activities of Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq.

The Turkish government earlier confirmed it was in talks with the United States to base Predator drones on its territory to operate against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.
Erdogan said this issue also came up in his meeting with Obama.

"I believe that there will be no problem regarding Predators, they will try to solve the Predator issue," he said.

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