Turkey launches operation against PKK hideouts
ANKARA – Agence France-PresseTurkish security forces have launched an operation against hideouts and shelters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in southeastern Anatolia, the military said on March 24.
Five teams were sent to the Mazzıdağı district in Mardin province after the local governor gave his consent, the army said in a statement posted on its website.
"The operation is continuing," it added.
The military action comes after jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan on March 21 called for Kurds to hold a congress aimed at ending their decades-old armed struggle against the Turkish state that has claimed more than 40,000 lives.
Turkey's government welcomed the message, with Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç describing the statement as "positive in every way".
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday no further steps could be taken unless the PKK laid down arms.
"Peace is not possible under the shadow of arms," he said.