Turkish PM pledges fierce response to PKK attacks that killed at least 12
ELAZIĞ / ANKARA
“Terror will not take over Turkey,” said Yıldırım, who secured full support from the country’s main opposition party.
“This nation will never surrender to any terrorist organization,” he said.
“The terrorist organization has lost its chain of command. It is staging suicide attacks wherever it can,” Yıldırım said in the eastern province of Elazığ, where he was accompanied by Interior Minister Efkan Ala, Defense Minister Fikri Işık, Health Minister Recep Akdağ and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar.
“Elazığ won’t collapse with this attack. The terrorist organization won’t find the right to live anywhere. We have raised the alarm level,” he added.
President Recep Tayyip Edoğan also said in Ankara that “no one needed to be an oracle to see that FETÖ is behind the recent PKK attacks in terms of intelligence sharing and promotion,” referring to the followers of Fethullah Gülen, the U.S.-based preacher and main suspect behind the July 15 coup attempt.
“This nation cannot be defeated. This nation cannot be demolished,” said Erdoğan.
Three officers were killed and 217 people, including 85 police officers and 60 civilians, were wounded in a PKK attack in Elazığ early on Aug. 18. Some 72 of those wounded have been discharged from hospitals while 14 remained in a critical condition. Two of them are police officers.
Initial footage showed severe damage to the building. The blast also created a hole in the scene.
A bomb-laden car coming from the west was detonated while in transit in front of the building, CNN Türk has reported.
Meanwhile, one police officer and two civilians were killed, while 73 more were injured, in a car bomb attack in the İpekyolu district of the eastern province of Van late on Aug. 17. PKK militants attacked the April 2 Police Center and Lodgings in İpekyolu with a bomb-laden car which they parked near the building before detonating it remotely. A sum of 73 people, 20 of whom are police officers, were also wounded in the explosion.
Five soldiers and one village guard were killed and six soldiers were wounded on Aug. 18 in a PKK attack in the Hizan district of the eastern province of Bitlis, Doğan News Agency reported. PKK militants detonated a hand-made explosive placed on a road near the Gayda village during the passing of a military vehicle at around 1 p.m, killing five soldiers and wounding five others.
Village guard Müslüm Yaldız was killed and one soldier was wounded during clashes with PKK militants in the rural areas of Nazar village.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) also sent a three-person delegation to Elazığ.
“I make an open call to the government,” said CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. “We are ready to give you whatever you expect from the government to bring an end to terror. I have given whatever you asked for until today. But we have just one expectation from the government: Please solve this terror issue.”
“Turkey is rapidly being dragged into ambiguity,” the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said in a statement, calling for a return to talks between the state and the PKK.
“What we are going through every day makes us long for yesterday. We are deeply concerned and saddened by recent incidents happened today in Elazığ, a few days ago in Van and Diyarbakır,” it said.
“Today, the expansion of democratic political channels is an urgent need. We, as the Peoples’ Democratic Party, are determined to do our part to stop recent incidents before they create more social unrest. The resolution to the long-standing Kurdish question must not be delayed any longer,” it said.
Meanwhile, a civilian wounded in an Aug. 10 bomb attack in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır succumbed to his injuries on Aug. 18, a hospital source said.
Veysel Yıldırım, who was injured when a police vehicle in central Sur district was bombed by the PKK, had been receiving treatment at Diyarbakır Dicle State Hospital, the source said.