Sunday, June 20, 2004

Turkey accepts Iraqi Kurd self-rule - Kurdish leader

Turkey accepts Iraqi Kurd self-rule - Kurdish leader: "Turkey accepts Iraqi Kurd self-rule - Kurdish leader
Jordan Times, Sunday, June 20, 2004
ANKARA (Reuters) Turkey has dropped its opposition to a federal structure in neighboring Iraq guaranteeing broad autonomy for the country's Kurds, a senior Iraqi Kurdish leader was quoted as saying on Saturday. Ankara has long been concerned that self-rule for the Kurds of northern Iraq could reignite secessionist violence among its own Kurdish population in southeastern Turkey. More than 30,000 people died in separatist violence there in the 1980s and 1990s.
But Masoud Barzani, leader of one of the two main Iraqi Kurdish parties, said a visiting delegation of high-level Turkish officials had recently signaled a more relaxed attitude towards the issue of Kurdish autonomy.
'[They] told us Turkey was not opposed to the granting of federal status to Iraqi Kurdistan within the structure of a unified Iraq,' NTV television quoted Barzani as saying.
Turkish officials were not immediately available for comment on the report. "


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