BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 27 October 2007, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
Turkey anger at Europe over PKK
Turkish armoured personnel carrier near the Turkey-Iraq border (25 Oct)
Turkey has been building up forces on its border with Iraq
Turkey's PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised EU nations for not doing more to tackle activists from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

He said EU nations were not arresting or extraditing PKK members.

Turkey has regularly asked countries to do more against the PKK, which the EU regards as a terrorist group.

Mr Erdogan was speaking after talks between Turkey and Iraq ended without progress on Iraqi proposals to stop PKK attacks on Turkey from Iraq.

Turkey has warned it will not tolerate more cross-border raids and has massed troops along the border.

Hundreds of people held demonstrations in Turkish cities on Saturday, condemning the PKK and calling for action.

Mr Erdogan questioned the sincerity of EU nations on the PKK issue.

PKK rebels in Iraq. File
Formed in late 1970s
Launched armed struggle in 1984
Dropped independence demands in 1990s
Wants greater autonomy for Turkey's Kurds
Leader Abdullah Ocalan arrested in 1999
Ended five-year ceasefire in 2004
Called a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU and US

"No EU country has extradited members of the PKK to Turkey, despite labelling it as a terrorist organisation," Mr Erdogan said on Turkish TV.

He did not mention any European nation by name.

But he did refer to a recent disagreement with Austria over its refusal to arrest a senior PKK member who then boarded a plane to northern Iraq, AFP news agency reported.

Ground attack threat

Talks in the Turkish capital Ankara between Turkish and Iraqi officials were aimed at heading off military action by Turkey's armed forces across their common border, after a series of attacks on Turkish troops by rebel Kurdish fighters based in northern Iraq.

But the talks ended without progress on Friday and no further meetings were planned.

The Iraqi delegation said the proposals put forward were practical, realistic and feasible, according to the BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad.

The proposals included using multinational forces - presumably Americans - to monitor the border, the rehabilitation and strengthening of old Iraqi border posts, the closure of what it called illegal bases and steps to dry up the PKK's finances, our correspondent says.

Turkey had said the Iraqi proposals would have taken too long to take effect.

Turkey wants the PKK's mountain bases in the far north of Iraq closed and the leadership handed over.

Mr Erdogan is due to meet US President George W Bush in Washington on 5 November.

A senior Turkish general suggested that Turkey's threat to launch a ground offensive into Iraq would not be carried out before that meeting.

"The armed forces will carry out a cross-border offensive when assigned," NTV television quoted General Yasar Buyukanit as saying on Friday.

"Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to the United States is very important, we will wait for his return."

Turkish military and civilian leaders have also recommended economic measures against northern Iraq, which relies heavily on Turkey for food and electricity.

The PKK - which is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the EU - is thought to have about 3,000 rebels based in Iraq.

Turkey's Deputy PM denounces the PKK on national TV

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific