Erdogan: Kurds must denounce PKK

March 15, 2008 at 2:06 AM
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ANKARA, Turkey, March 15 (UPI) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a Kurdish political party that he will meet with its leaders if they declare the PKK a terrorist organization.

Erdogan has promised to provide $12 million in aid to southeastern Turkey, the area with the largest Kurdish population, the New Anatolian reported. But he declined to join President Abdullah Gul and Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan in a meeting with representatives of the Democratic Society Party.

The government is trying to open dialogue with the Kurds while continuing military operations against the PKK inside Turkey and across the border in Iraqi Kurdistan. Two PKK fighters were killed Friday in southeastern Turkey.

Hasip Kaplan, a leader in the DSP, told the Turkish Daily News that the government must offer more than the social and economic package Erdogan has proposed. He called for a new definition of citizenship in the constitution that would refer to the "nations of Turkey" instead of a singular nation and "the state of Turkey" instead of "Turkish state."

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