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Turkey requests US help against Kurd separatists

21 september 2011, 17:26
Kurdish demostrators clash with riot police in Istanbul May 16, 2011. ©Reuters
Kurdish demostrators clash with riot police in Istanbul May 16, 2011. ©Reuters
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has submitted a list of requests for help from the United States to counter Kurdish separatists, AFP reports, quoting Anatolia news agency Wednesday.

"There is a list of requests we have conveyed to them regarding the fight against the PKK," Erdogan was quoted as saying by Anatolia, referring to the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), blacklisted as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Erdogan's remarks came at a news conference after a one-and-half-hour meeting with US President Barack Obama in New York, said Anatolia.

Counter-terrorism figured high on the agenda of the Erdogan-Obama meeting, it said as two separate attacks in Turkey put pressure on Erdogan's Islamic-rooted government.

A powerful bomb rocked the centre of Turkish capital Ankara Tuesday, killing three people and injuring at least 15, and immediate suspicion fell on Kurdish separatists.

The same day, a Kurdish rebel attack on a police academy in southeast Turkey left four civilians and one of the assailants dead. Kurdish rebels attacked the academy in the town of Siirt.

"(Obama) told me that the United States is ready to give us any support regarding the fight against terrorism," said Erdogan.

He added that Washington would continue to supply Turkey with intelligence regarding the activities of Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq.

The Turkish government earlier confirmed it was in talks with the United States to base Predator drones on its territory to operate against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.

Erdogan said this issue also came up in his meeting with Obama.

"I believe that there will be no problem regarding Predators, they will try to solve the Predator issue," he said.

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