Turkish Troops Arrest Kurdish Rebels With AM-Germany-Turkey
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) _ Turkish soldiers and police arrested scores of suspected Kurdish rebels Thursday and military jets pounded rebel camps in a continued crackdown in the southeastern region near Iraq, officials said.
Recent fighting there has been the worst in the Kurds’ 8-year-old insurgency.
Officials said the rebels were seized in house-to-house searches, including 65 in the city of Cizre and others in Silopi, also near the Iraqi border, and at Nusaybin on the border with Syria.
Jets bombed camps of Kurdish Labor Party insurgents in northern Iraq, military officials said. There were no casualty reports.
Ankara’s use of force against the Kurdish rebels had its first major international repercussion Thursday when Germany suspended all arms shipments, alleging that the Turkish military used German-supplied weapons in its crackdown.
Turkish Premier Suleyman Demirel said Wednesday that he would keep up the campaign against the rebels despite the German criticism.
Although committed to easing Turkey’s restrictions on Kurdish culture, the center-right government coalition has vowed to harshly root out separatists.
Cizre’s 60,000 citizens had been confined to their homes since last weekend. The curfew was reimposed at Silopi and Nusaybin on Thursday.
The Kurdish Labor Party has been fighting since 1984 for an independent state in southeastern Turkey, home to about half of the country’s 12 million Kurds.