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Turkey: Kurds Demand EU Act On Turkish Incurion Into Iraq

Strasbourg, France; 10 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - At least 30 Kurdish protestors chained themselves to flagpoles outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg today to demand the withdrawal of Turkish forces from northern Iraq.

The protestors called on the EU to oppose a three-week old incursion during which more than 10,000 Turkish soldiers have entered Iraq to attack forces of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The PKK, which has been fighting for autonomy in southeastern Turkey for more than a decade, has bases in northern Iraq.

The EU established a customs union with Turkey early last year, but has not granted Ankara's long-standing request for full EU membership. When it approved a customs union, the European Parliament demanded improvement in Turkey's treatment of ethnic Kurds.