Turkish Fighter Planes Bomb Qandil Mountains on Friday

29/09/2012 RUDAW – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Turkish fighter planes entered Kurdistan’s airspace on Friday and heavily bombarded the Qandil Mountains. – Bakhtiar Dogan, a spokesperson for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), told Rudaw, “For two days, Turkish fighter planes have been bombing Qandil and Kurdistan’s border areas, but so far we do not have an exact report on casualties.”

Dogan said that his group will soon release a report on the bombings. Eyewitnesses told Rudaw that a number of Turkish jets circled above the Qandil Mountains and dropped bombs in successive sorties. Zap, Jawaro, Shajaw, Sita and other areas were the main target of the Turkish bombardment.

The area witnessed its heaviest bombardment last year when a dozen Kurdish farmers were killed and hundreds more had to abandon their herds and settle in safer parts of the Kurdistan Region. These bombings are believed to be a response by Turkey to recent attacks by PKK fighters against the Turkish military in the Shemzinan area. “We want to end Turkey’s occupation of Kurdistan,” a PKK spokesperson said, describing his group’s recent control of the Shemzinan area. “Occupation will annihilate the Kurdish people.”

Meanwhile, Hurryiet newspaper reported this week that PKK’s jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan has expressed opposition to these PKK attacks.

“These latest attacks are irresponsible,” Ocalan told his brother in prison, Hurryiet reported. “These attacks destroy the bridges between nations. They must be prevented.”

According to Hurryiet, Ocalan told his brother he would do his best to reason with the PKK. “In order to prevent this disintegration and separation between peoples, I will do everything in my power,” Hurryiet wrote of Ocalan’s meeting with his brother Muhammad. Moreover, on Thursday Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Turkish NTV that he had personally sanctioned all previous talks with the PKK and its jailed leader.

“When Emre Taner was the head of the Turkish intelligence, I sent him to Oslo and to Imrali [Ocalan’s island prison],” Erdogan said. “And that is now a mechanism in our hands. Whenever we deem it necessary, we can use it.”In his interview with NTV, Erdogan refused to hold any talks with the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), calling it a group entangled in terrorism. “If Selahattin Demirtas [head of BDP] requests a meeting with me, that is a different story,” Erdogan said. “But it is important to know that he is entangled in terrorism. So what can we talk about with those who act with terrorism?”