Turkey wants handover of 248 PKK militants
Turkey has called on the United States and Iraq for cooperation in its anti-terror operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Press TV reported.
Turkish daily Hurriyet reported on Saturday that Ankara gave out a list of 248 PKK rebels to officials in Baghdad and Washington, demanding the immediate handover of the militants.
The list included senior PKK chiefs such as Murat Karayilan, Cemil Bayik, and Duran Kalkan.
The call was made shortly after military and civilian leaders in Turkey voiced growing frustration with Baghdad and the Iraq-based US military over their inaction in confronting the PKK.
The frustration was due to intensified cross-border attacks launched by militants on the Turkish military from Iraq as part of a quest by the PKK for an independent Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey.
Some 45,000 are estimated to have died since 1984 when the militants began their armed offensives.
"These terror camps within the borders of Iraq, in northern Iraq, are unacceptable. We have demanded this from Iraq and the United States. The time for words is over. It is time for action now," Reuters quoted Turkish Interior Minister Besir Atalay as saying on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Hurriyet quoted unnamed senior Turkish officials as saying on Saturday that Turkey had demanded that the handover take place "as soon as possible."
"The net is tightening," one official said on condition of anonymity.