More than 35,000 dead in 30-year PKK fight

Jan. 29, 2013 at 10:36 AM
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ANKARA, Turkey, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- At least 35,566 people have been killed in the 30-year conflict with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party, a Turkish parliamentary commission report says.

Citing the 386,000 people forced from their homes by the conflict, the report calls on Turkish leaders to embrace everyone affected by "terrorism," Today's Zaman reported Monday.

Most of those who died in the conflict, at least 22,000 people, were members of the terrorist group, also known as the PKK, the report said. Nearly 8,000 public servants, mostly soldiers, and about 5,500 civilians also died during the lengthy civil war.

Recently revived peace talks with Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the PKK, represented an opportunity that should be used to resolve the Kurdish issue, the report said.

Focusing solely on security issues to end the conflict would only result in gridlock, the report added.

In calling for the government to embrace all Turks affected by violence, the report those using violence should be considered "criminals" rather than enemies, and all groups -- not just the PKK -- should be included.

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