‘Provocateurs caught’ in killings in southeastern Turkey
Erdinç Çelikkan HATAYPolice have captured provocateurs who infiltrated into Turkey to start clashes in Turkey’s southeastern province of Şırnak that left three people dead, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Dec. 28.
Speaking at a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) provincial congress in the southern province of Hatay, Davutoğlu said the street battles in Şırnak’s Cizre district were part of a provocation campaign.
“Very effective precautions have been taken against provocateur elements, who tried to infiltrate into Cizre. The public must know that the provocateurs have been caught and brought under control within the process,” said Davutoğlu yesterday, adding that there were clear signs that Turkey was facing a provocation.
Three people were killed in Cizre on Dec. 27 in street battles between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkey’s Hizbullah (Hüda-Par), whose members are mostly Kurdish Islamists. The street battles came more than two months after clashes in Turkey’s eastern and southeastern provinces led to the deaths of about 40 people.
Davutoğlu called on the Turkish public, saying Kurds and Turks, Alevis and Sunnis were brothers and that the peace process would be successfully conducted.
“We will bring the resolution process to success. That is why we called it the ‘resolution’ process. We will continue to take all the necessary precautions,” said Davutoğlu.
The Kurdish peace bid, which is being conducted between the Turkish government and the PKK, aims at ending the three-decade-long armed conflict between the PKK and the Turkish state.
Members of the Free Cause Party (Hüda-Par) confronted the YDG-H, the youth branch of the PKK, at 3 a.m. on Dec. 27 in Cizre, according to Doğan News Agency. The confrontation turned into a gunfight in several neighborhoods early in the morning. While increasingly larger crowds used long-barreled guns against each other, particularly in the Nur neighborhood, security forces and armored vehicles failed to enter the hotspots due to trenches dug by the members of the YDG-H.
The homes of several Hüda-Par members were besieged by armed YDG-H members, Doğan News Agency reported. At least three people were killed while three others were injured in the Dec. 27 clashes, the Şırnak Governor’s Office announced.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan said the clashes in Cizre were openly “mocking” Kandil, a byword for the leadership of the PKK, whose headquarters are in the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq.
“Incidents took place in Cizre. Some people covered their faces, threw Molotov cocktails and tried to burn houses down. Do you know what this is? This is openly ‘mocking’ Kandil. It is saying, ‘I don’t take you seriously,’” said Akdoğan at his party’s provincial congress in the Central Anatolian province of Kırıkkale.
Previously in the day, Davutoğlu said the clashes in Cizre were “all provocations that were not only aimed at the state, but also intended to cause anger between different political groups,” as reported by Anadolu Agency.
“We will not tolerate those who want to bring the clashes and unrest outside of Turkey into our country, especially to the border provinces,” Davutoğlu said, advising people to be calm.