Evacuation of villages near PKK camps begin

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq has begun the evacuation of villages near Kandil and Hakurk camps of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) today.

The evacuations were launched as a result of bilateral talks between Turkey and the KRG.

Civilians living in villages in the Kandil, Sidekan, Hakurk, Hınere and Pışdere areas will be relocated to four new camps that the regional government has begun constructing.

The new camps, consisting of 624 residences, will have a total cost of $42 million.

Turkey has been pressing on the KRG to evacuate villages near PKK camps on grounds that they provided logistical support to the organization.

The KRG said the villages were being evacuated to minimize civilian deaths in military operations conducted in the region by Turkey and Iran.

Turkey and Iran have been conducting air and artillery strikes against the PKK and its offshoot PJAK camps in northern Iraq. Turkey has also undertaken numerous land incursions into Iraq in an effort to hinder PKK activities in the region.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
DIYARBAKIR – Doğan news agency (DHA)