News / Europe

    Hope For Peace Fades in Turkey Over PKK Attack

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, August 17, 2011
    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, August 17, 2011

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Dorian Jones

    The Turkish government has vowed strong retaliation against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), after Kurdish rebels launched a deadly attack on Turkish soldiers in Hakkari province near Turkey's border with Iraq.  The killings are the latest escalation in the more than two decades of conflict and hopes of a peaceful solution are now fading fast.

    Nine soldiers were killed in an ambush near the Iraqi border that was blamed on the Kurdish rebel group the PKK.

    The Turkish army retaliated with airstrikes, but it is believed the rebels had already crossed back to their bases in neighboring Iraq.

    The attack brought an angry response from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  

    "Terrorists martyred our children," Ergogan said.  "May God rest their lost. Terror is a cruel phenomena - without a religion, without a nation, without a race, without a country."

    The PKK has stepped up attacks after ending its unilateral cease-fire last month.

    Since 1984, the rebel group since has been fighting for greater Kurdish rights in a conflict that has claimed more than 40,000 lives.  At least 30 soldiers have died in the past few weeks.   And, with the deaths coming in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, it has added to the anger in Turkey against the PKK.

    Earlier this month, Erdogan warned Turkey's restraint in action against the rebel group was coming to the end.  He said with the passing of Ramadan, Turkey's armed forces would retaliate.  Ramadan ends in two weeks.

    Journalist and military affairs expert Metehan Demir says the government's reaction will be tough.

    "The nature of the operations will be harsh tough, and will include no mercy," said Demir.  "And also will include more military air bombings.  It will also include cross-border operations."

    The bulk of the PKK are based in northern Iraq.  Two years ago, Turkish forces entered the region in a week-long incursion.

    Analysts say Turkey may coordinate its expected operation with Iran, which is already engaged in a major operation against an offshoot of the PKK.

    After last month's general-election victory, the prime minister had promised a new constitution that would address many of the Kurdish minority's demands.  

    But with the hope of peace fading, the fear is growing that Turkey could return to the 1990s - the peak of the conflict with the PKK.  That decade saw tens of thousands of people killed, hundreds of thousands more forced from their homes, and Turkey's economy nearly bankrupted.

    You May Like

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Despite Cease-fire, Myanmar Landmine Scourge Goes Unaddressed

    Myanmar has third-highest mine casualty rate in the world, according to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which says between 1999 to 2014 it recorded 3,745 casualties, 396 of whom died

    Video Energy Lacking at Annual Offshore Oil Conference

    The slump in oil prices that began in 2014 has taken a toll on the industry but all express confidence it will end eventually

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora