PKK kidnaps soldier, technician in eastern Turkey
MUŞTwo people, including a soldier, were kidnapped in southeast Turkey on May 18 by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“Members of the separatist terror organization have kidnapped two people, including a specialist gendarmerie corporal, in the area between Merkez Mescitli village and Bostankent village in the province of Muş. A criminal investigation has been launched in the incident,” the Turkish General Staff stated on May 20.
The military’s statement did not name the victims or the date of the incident, but Doğan News Agency reported that the kidnapping took place on May 18.
According to the report, the kidnapped soldier was on leave to visit his family in the Erzurum province and had gone to the Baltaş village in Muş with his childhood friend, a technician who was sent to the area by his company for maintenance work on television transmitters.
Gendarmerie forces launched a search operation in the area.
Although the PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, there has not been a major armed clash between its militants and Turkish security forces since 2013.
During Nevruz in 2013, the PKK’s jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan issued his first call on the PKK to declare a ceasefire, saying it was the right time to end the 40-year-old armed conflict and begin a political struggle for the rights of Kurds.
Launched in late 2012 and intensified amid negotiations between the government, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), and Öcalan, the peace process envisages a settlement of the problem and the disarmament of the PKK.
Before the negotiation process began, the PKK had been routinely kidnapping Turkish civil servants, workers and soldiers in the country’s southeast.