Top brass visit base in Malatya
MALATYA - Doğan News AgencyTurkey’s Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel and commanders from Turkish air and land forces paid a surprise visit to the Second Army Commandership in the southeastern province of Malatya today as military operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) continued.
Gen. Özel, Land Forces Commander Gen. Hayri Kıvrıkoğlu and Air Forces Commander Gen. Mehmet Erten were said to have been given a three hour briefing by Second Army Commander Gen. Galip Mendi.
After the meeting the generals returned to Ankara. An announcement was placed on the Turkish Armed Forces’ official website that said “the commanders have gone to Malatya to conduct inspections.”
The Second Army Commandership shoulders the responsibility of securing the nation’s Iraq and Syria borders as well as the eastern part of Turkey.
A day before the generals’ visit PKK militants blocked a road in the eastern province of Iğdır and fired at vehicles that did not stop for their blockade. Three civilians were reportedly wounded in the incident. The group then set a truck on fire.
Meanwhile, during a funeral ceremony for two killed PKK militants held in the eastern Doğubeyazıt district of Ağrı yesterday a group of people chanted slogans in favor of the PKK. The group also attacked the police with molotov cocktails leading to police attempting to calm the group by using pepper gas.
Some 373 “terrorists have been neutralized” since February, amid the deaths of 88 soldiers so far this year, the chief of General Staff said Sept. 10, noting that the military had conducted 974 operations alone within the country’s borders since April.