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Violence In Turkey


At least sixteen people have died in political violence in Turkey in recent days. A crowded bus was firebombed in Istanbul, causing three deaths. A bomb went off in a public square in Istanbul, killing one and leaving thirteen others injured. Turkish authorities say the Kurdistan Workers Party, or P-K-K terrorist group, was responsible for both attacks.

An additional twelve people have been killed in clashes between police and violent demonstrators in Turkey's southeast. U.S. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli says the U.S. condemns the terrorists responsible for the violence:

"The United States condemns the bombings by the Kurdistan Workers Party that killed four people in Istanbul over the weekend. We also regret the loss of life as a result of violent protests by Kurdistan Workers Party sympathizers in southeast Turkey and in Istanbul over the last week or so. Turkey is a valued ally and close friend. We. . . .reiterate our strong condemnation of all terrorist groups, including the P-K-K. It's important to condemn this violence and stand against terrorists and their supporters."

The P-K-K began its terrorist campaign in 1984, which has killed or wounded some thirty-thousand people. An affiliate of the P-K-K, the Kurdistan Liberation Hawks, has claimed responsibility for a number of bomb attacks in Turkey that have killed many people, including foreign tourists. One bombing of the resort town of Cesme in 2005 wounded twenty-one people.

In an editorial in the Turkish Daily News, Yusuf Kanli writes that all people of good will must unite against terrorism. "The ethnic Kurdish population of Turkey has legitimate rights," Mr. Kanli says, "and we are strongly supportive of reforms that will provide them and the rest of the Turkish public with broader rights and liberties and a more democratic atmosphere. Yet vandalizing shops, burning buses and cars, resorting to terrorist tactics and attacking our security forces, shouting 'vengeance,' cannot be a legitimate way of pursuing rights."

For its part, says State Department spokesman Adam Ereli, the United States has a shared interest with Turkey in "confronting terrorist groups of all stripes including the P-K-K," and "preventing them from sowing the kind of violence and disorder that we see in Turkey right now."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.

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