Military hits PKK bases as violence continues
DHA photoTurkish war planes carried out a new wave of air strikes against 17 targets of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the southeastern province of Hakkari overnight as a soldier was killed in an attack on a military post and as Turkey bid farewell to six members of security forces killed in recent attacks.
“Seventeen targets of the separatist terrorists were hit with precision and neutralized” in the Buzul and İkiyaka mountains of Hakkari province, on the border with Iran and Iraq, the army stated on Aug. 11.
The strikes were in retaliation for a succession of attacks in Turkey on Aug. 10 that killed six members of the security forces, which were believed to be conducted by the PKK.
Turkish war planes have for over two weeks bombed targets of the PKK in their strongholds in the remote mountains of northern Iraq as well as southeastern Turkey.
In new violence overnight, a Turkish soldier was killed in a gun attack on a military post in Şırnak in an attack blamed on the PKK.
PKK militants launched the attack against the Akdizgin military base at 12:20 a.m. on Aug. 11 with long-barreled weapons.
The clashes continued for approximately 20 minutes, before the militants escaped in the dark toward Mount Gabar, on the outskirts of which the military base is located.
Military reinforcements were sent to the region following the attack. Two attack helicopters also sprayed the militants’ escape route with fire.
Non-commissioned officer Barış Aybek, 22, was severely injured in the clashes and later died at Şırnak Military Hospital, where he was taken to receive treatment.
Seven PKK militants were killed in operations on Aug. 9 in the Tendürek Mountain located in the eastern province of Ağrı. The operations, supported by the air forces, took place in the area which was announced as a “temporary security area,” where the military forces searched for the militants.
On Aug. 10, four Turkish police officers were killed in a roadside bombing in Şırnak while a Turkish soldier was killed in a rocket attack on a military helicopter.
Riot police officer Şahin Polat Aydın, who was killed in the bombing, was laid to rest in the Güdül district of Ankara after an official ceremony on Aug. 11. Deputy Minister Ali Babacan was among the several politicians who attended the funeral.
Photo from the funeral of police officer Mustafa Yahya Mertcan. Cihan Photo
Police officer Mustafa Yahya Mertcan, 24, was laid to rest in the Eldivan district of Central Anatolian province of Çankırı on Aug. 22. Mertcan’s uncle, Yahya Coşkuner, was killed when he was a soldier in the southeastern province of Van in 1990, according to media reports. The police officer was named after his uncle who was killed in a PKK attack. Education Minister Nabi Avcı was present at the funeral.
Photo from the funeral of police officer Savaş Akyol. DHA Photo
Riot police officer Savaş Akyol, 22, was laid to rest on Aug. 11 in the Şefaatli district of Yozgat, a Central Anatolian province. Transportation Minister Feridun Bilgin also attended the funeral along with local officials.
Photo from the funeral of police officer Resul Kayaoğlu. DHA Photo
Photo from the funeral of private Doğan Acar. DHA Photo
Meanwhile, in Istanbul a senior police officer in charge of the city’s bomb disposal department was killed on Aug. 10 in clashes that followed a suicide bombing in Istanbul’s Sultanbeyli district.
Beyazıt Çeken, senior police officer in charge of bomb disposal team, was laid to rest in the Central Anatolian province of Konya.
Interior Minister Sabahattin Öztürk and Justice Minister Kenan İpek were among the officials who attended the funeral held in the Chanbeyli district. Çeken was married and had two children.
While the government blamed the PKK for that attack, it was claimed by a small radical leftist group, the People’s Defense Units (HSB), on its Twitter feed.
The outlawed Marxist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) – which the government has on occasion linked to the PKK – claimed another attack in Istanbul, a shooting on the U.S. consulate building, which caused no casualties, although one of the assailants, Hatice Aşık, was shot and seriously injured by police despite allegedly being unarmed at the time.
Ankara is pressing a two-pronged “anti-terror” offensive against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadists and PKK militants following a wave of attacks in the country. But so far the air strikes have overwhelmingly concentrated on PKK militants.
According to an AFP toll, 29 members of the security forces have been killed in violence linked to the PKK since the current crisis began.