News / Europe

Kurdish Rebels Say Turkish Army is Endangering Peaceful Pullout

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters talk to each other as they stand guard at the Qandil mountains near the Iraq-Turkish border in Sulaimaniya, 330 kilometers northeast of Baghdad, Iraq, March 24, 2013.Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters talk to each other as they stand guard at the Qandil mountains near the Iraq-Turkish border in Sulaimaniya, 330 kilometers northeast of Baghdad, Iraq, March 24, 2013.
x
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters talk to each other as they stand guard at the Qandil mountains near the Iraq-Turkish border in Sulaimaniya, 330 kilometers northeast of Baghdad, Iraq, March 24, 2013.
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters talk to each other as they stand guard at the Qandil mountains near the Iraq-Turkish border in Sulaimaniya, 330 kilometers northeast of Baghdad, Iraq, March 24, 2013.
Reuters
Turkey's Kurdish rebels have accused the army of endangering an agreed pullout of rebel fighters from the mostly Kurdish southeast, due to start on Wednesday, with surveillance drones and large-scale movements of men and equipment.

Top Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK] commander Murat Karayilan ordered his fighters last month to begin withdrawing to bases in northern Iraq as part of a plan to end three decades of conflict with the Turkish state.

However, huge distrust remains. The PKK has not accepted a government demand that its fighters should lay down their weapons before withdrawing, fearing that they could come under attack, as they did in a previous pullback. The army has made clear the suspicion is mutual.

"The constant reconnaissance activity of unmanned aerial vehicles is delaying the withdrawal process," the PKK said in a statement. "The intensifying military shipments and movement in Kurdistan are not just affecting the withdrawal process negatively but laying the ground for provocations and clashes."

The PKK said accelerated construction of military outposts and dams in southeast Turkey also was provocative. It said it still expected the pullout to begin on time, though, with the first groups due in northern Iraq within a week.

Karayilan has warned that PKK fighters will retaliate if the Turkish army launches any kind of operation against them.

The rebels are expected to move in groups of about half a dozen in a process expected to take several months, monitored on the Turkish side by the MIT intelligence agency [Turkey's National Intelligence Organization] and across the border by the Kurdish regional government of northern Iraq.

The step-by-step peace deal negotiated by jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan with Turkish officials appears to offer the best chance yet of ending a conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, and stunted the economy of an entire region.

Turkey appears to have tacitly accepted a certain ambiguity over disarmament to allow the peace process to go ahead - insisting that it must happen, but leaving open how and under whose supervision.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ex Turk from: UK
May 07, 2013 11:49 AM
why can't they understand that Turkish Army is just a shell... there is no substance to it any more.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid