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News > World

Turkey Says More Anti-PKK Strikes to Come

  • Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says strikes against the PKK and Islamic State group will continue.

    Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says strikes against the PKK and Islamic State group will continue. | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 July 2015

A decades-old conflict between Turkey and the Kurdish PKK has been reignited.

Turkey vowed Saturday to continue attacks against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), along with strikes against the Islamic State group.

“The operations will continue for as long as threats against Turkey continue,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, according to Turkey's Anadolu Agency.

Ankara also confirmed it carried out airstrikes against PKK sites in Iraq. While Davutoglu said any organizations that “threaten” Turkey would be targeted in a crackdown on militants, on Friday President Tayyip Erdogan said the PKK would be the main focus of attacks.

The move will likely be a setback to the peace process between Turkey and the PKK. Until peace talks began in 2012, the PKK fought against Turkey for three decades to carve out greater autonomy for the country's Kurdish minority. Kurds have long complained of repression and a lack of representation in Turkey.

RELATED: Silencing a People: How Turkey is Depriving Kurds of a Voice

The Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella network that includes the PKK, issued a statement earlier this month saying Turkey violated the cease-fire by recently building military outposts, dams and roads for military purposes.

They also warned, “The Kurdish movement has decided not to accept this treatment any more, and to mobilize by all means necessary,” calling an end to the cease-fire that has been in place since 2013.

While Turkey has renewed fighting against the PKK, it has also begun strikes against the Islamic State group. In recent months the Turkish government has been accused of being soft on the Islamic State group, with some critics accusing the government of explicitly aiding the militant group.

Early Friday, the Turkish military launched its first airstrikes against the militants in Syria, and has since vowed to conduct more strikes.

“Those who threaten (Turkey) will face the response,” Davutoglu said.

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