Turkish government vows to end PKK after bomb attack kills six
MARDİN / MUĞLA
AA PhotoTurkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has pledged to take all necessary measures to end the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), after the militant group killed six security officials by detonating an improvised explosive device in Mardin’s Nusaybin district on April 2.
“Many people, many organizations collaborated [against us]. Many countries supported it [the PKK], but they could not be successful. And they will not be successful,” Turkey’s Interior Minister Efkan Ala told reporters in the Aegean province of Muğla on April 3, ahead of a meeting to combat irregular migration.
“Turkey is powerful enough to come out victorious from this struggle [against the PKK],” Ala said while praising the security officials killed in Nusaybin who “sacrificed their lives for this country and nation.”
Funeral ceremonies were held in three Turkish provinces for the six officers killed in Nusaybin and two others killed in southeastern Şırnak and Hakkari provinces amid ongoing security operations.
A ceremony was organized at Turkey’s 70th Mechanized Infantry Brigade for five soldiers and a special operations police killed as PKK militants detonated an improvised explosive device at 4 p.m. on April 2 in Nusaybin during anti-terror operations in the Fırat neighborhood.
The funerals of the security officials (specialized sergeants Bekir Kelleci, Aycan Özdil and Mehmet Polat, Gendarmerie Specialized Sgt. İbrahim Akdemir, Gendarmerie Staff Sgt. Atilla Kaya and special operations police officer İsrafil Kargı) were covered with Turkish flags and placed at the catafalque as part of the ceremony. Mardin Governor Ömer Faruk Koçak, Diyarbakır 7th army corps commander Lieutenant General İbrahim Yıldız and AKP Diyarbakır deputies Orhan Miroğlu and Ceyda Bölünmez Çankırı attended the funeral, alongside commanders, public prosecutors and civil society organization representatives.
Separate ceremonies were held for two other soldiers who were killed April 2 in separate attacks in Şırnak’s city center and Hakkari’s Yüksekova district.
A deputy police chief from the special operations police, Sami Saygı, was heavily wounded during an operation in Şırnak and succumbed to his wounds in hospital, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) announced April 2.
Saygı’s cask was sent to his hometown Çorum following a military ceremony attended by gendarmerie commanders and policemen in the province.
Another deputy police officer, Mustafa Sezgin, was also heavily wounded in clashes with the PKK in Hakkari’s Yüksekova district, where a curfew has been in effect since March 13. Sezgin was brought to Yüksekova State Hospital for treatment, but succumbed to his injuries early April 2.
Sezgin’s funeral ceremony was held in the gendarmerie squadron command in the eastern province of Van with the attendance of Van Governor İbrahim Taşyapan, Van Chief of Police Mehmet Suat Ekinci as well as commanders and police officers from the district. The policeman’s cask was sent to his hometown, Kayseri.
Meanwhile, some 27 PKK militants have been killed in operations in Nusaybin, Yüksekova and Şırnak since April 2, according to announcement by the TSK.
In separate statements issued on its official website, the TSK announced that some 17 militants were killed in Yüksekova, raising the total number of PKK militants killed since the beginning of the operations to 130, according to state numbers. Three Kalashnikovs with 36 cartridge clips and 2,057 cartridges, 14 hand grenades and 58 machine gun cartridges were also seized during the operations.
Reports also indicate that some six militants were killed in Mardin and four others were killed in Şırnak, while total PKK casualties stand at 156 and 140 in the provinces, respectively.