Turkey to close five border posts after PKK attack
The Turkish army is to close five vulnerable border posts
along the frontier with Iraq following Saturday's attack by Kurdish Workers'
Party (PKK) forces that left 15 Turkish soldiers and 23 Kurdish guerrillas
dead, officials in Ankara have said.
A spokesman for the Turkish army general staff said Sunday that the administration of the Kurdish autonomous area in Iraq had not helped in the fight against the PKK, despite overtures by Iraq's Kurdish President Jalal Talabani.
The spokesman also said that two Turkish soldiers were still missing after the attack, possibly dead.
After the attack, Talabani had called his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul to propose a meeting of high-ranking security experts from both sides, suggesting Iraqi willingness to help Turkey de- escalate the situation.
The attack took place on the Aktutun border post in the south- eastern province of Hakkari. Fifteen Turkish soldiers and 23 PKK fighters died.
According to Turkish media reports, the border post was attacked by 350 PKK fighters using heavy weapons, leading to the high number of casualties on the Turkish side. Turkish fighter jets have bombed suspected PKK bases in northern Iraq several times in recent weeks.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States. It has been fighting for independence or greater autonomy for the Kurdish parts of Turkey since the 1980s.
The Turkish army says that at least 35,000 people have died in the fighting since then.