67 PKK militants surrender in Turkey's southeast

67 PKK militants surrender in Turkey's southeast

67 PKK militants surrender in Turkeys southeast

DHA photo

A total of 67 militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) surrendered to Turkish security forces on May 26 as clashes intensified in two neighborhoods of the southeastern district of Nusaybin despite a statement from the group announcing a redeployment outside the district.

Some 42 PKK militants, including 10 women and 32 men, reportedly surrendered to the authorities on May 26 as operations intensified in Nusaybin’s Fırat and Yenişehir neighborhoods. 

The militants surrendered following repeated calls from security forces, reports said, adding that a total 10 were injured. 

The wounded militants were brought to Nusaybin State Hospital for treatment. 

The surrender on May 26 was the highest number of PKK militants to yield to security forces in the district, just a day after 25 militants surrendered on May 24.

The 25 militants surrendered after reportedly being cornered in Nusaybin’s Fırat neighborhood. Reports indicate that initially only one militant waved the white flag and that she later convinced 24 others to follow. 

Among those to surrender was a young woman, Zehra K., whose diary was found by security forces just a few days ago. The diary included notes allegedly admitting it was a mistake to join the PKK. 

The woman’s remarks were made public in a video released by the Turkish Armed Forces on May 25, whereby she claimed the PKK forced her to fight against the Turkish state. 

“My biggest mistake was to be fooled by the PKK because the PKK is burning both the Republic of Turkey and the Kurdish nation. So what I want to say to young people is that the organization [PKK] forced me into this but what I understand [now] is that they should take refuge in the state,” she is heard saying in another video, which shows her meeting her parents.

“Personally I did not have any hope. We surrendered ourselves; if it was me I would fire bullets, but the state opened its arms to us even in a process like this, even in an environment like this. The state gave me every chance and never forced me to do anything. They treated me as best as they can. They treated me in a way they should not,” she said.

Meanwhile, sources from the military suggest five militants who declined to surrender on May 24 were cornered and killed near a cemetery in Nusaybin around 3:30 a.m. on May 26.

PKK claims to withdraw from Nusaybin

Reports of surrendering militants were followed by a statement from the PKK, saying it had withdrawn and only unarmed civilians were left in the district.

The statement reportedly said the militants had to reposition themselves in the face of the security operations and decided to withdraw from Nusaybin. However, security sources said the announcement would not lead to a cessation of operations as improvised explosive devices previously placed by the PKK were still in place across the district. 

“Operations need to continue to clear the district of these [explosives] and to ensure an environment where civilians can safely live,” the security forces said.

Some 125 to 130 militants are still believed to be in the area, according to reports by Cihan News Agency. 
A total of 437 PKK militants were killed, 400 barricades were removed and 1,024 explosives were detonated in Nusaybin since the “Atmaca-1” operation started on March 14.