Turkey says will crush rebels at whatever cost

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ANKARA, Oct 21 (Reuters) Turkey is ready to pay whatever price is needed to defeat Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq, the president's office said today.

''While respecting the territorial integrity of Iraq, Turkey will not shy away from paying whatever price is necessary to protect its rights, its laws, its indivisible unity and its citizens,'' a statement from the president's office said. It followed emergency talks between President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, the head of the military General Staff and other top security officials to plot Turkey's response after Kurdish rebels killed 17 soldiers in southeast Turkey.

Reuters RKM VP0158

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