Turkey PM says ‘nothing to discuss’ with PKK after attacks

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Turkey’s prime minister ruled out talks with the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Wednesday after a spate of attacks blamed on the militants killed at least 17 people this week.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the outlawed group had made a bid for dialogue after almost a year of renewed violence that ended a two-and-a-half year truce, adding that the government had no interest in responding.

“These days news comes, directly or indirectly, from the terrorist organisation saying ‘we can negotiate, we can lay down arms, we should talk’,” Yildirim said.

“There’s nothing to discuss,” he said late on Wednesday, quoted by the Dogan news agency.

Car bombings targeting Turkish police in Istanbul and in the Kurdish-majority southeast have claimed at least 17 lives so far this week alone, shattering festivities for the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

A strike against the security forces Tuesday in the heart of Istanbul claimed 11 lives, including several police officers.

The number of dead from an attack Wednesday in Midyat, in Mardin province near the Syrian border, rose to six after a third police officer died, Turkish media reported.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either bombing but Turkish authorities have blamed the PKK, which is listed as a terror group by Ankara and much of the international community.

Yildirim said: “The attacks that occurred in the month of Ramadan show the vile terrorist organisation does not recognise any sacred value.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed that the fight against the PKK will continue “until doomsday”.

In angry front pages, Turkish newspapers focused on the fact two of the police officers killed in the attack Wednesday in Midyat were women.

Serife Ozden Kalmis, 31, was six months pregnant and had worked in the security detail of ex-president Abdullah Gul, who in a message on Twitter praised her “devoted service” and expressed “immense sadness”.

Nefize Ozsoy, meanwhile, was a mother of a four-month-old daughter.

-AFP

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