Anti-PKK operation launched in Turkey’s north following killing of specialized sergeant

Anti-PKK operation launched in Turkey’s north following killing of specialized sergeant

Anti-PKK operation launched in Turkey’s north following killing of specialized sergeant

AA photo

Turkish anti-terror teams continued operations against four outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the northeastern province of Trabzon’s Maçka district on May 18, after the militants killed a specialized sergeant on May 16 during a previous operation.

The officials identified the militants’ identities through a camera system set by the Forestry and Water Affairs Directorate in a move to spot wild animals in the region. The militants were captured by the cameras while walking in the forestland holding guns, bags and various materials in their hands. 

The anti-terror teams set up check points on certain routes, while not letting civilians and civil vehicles in specific places. Due to heavy fog in the region, the operation reportedly could not be assisted by helicopters and drones. 

Meanwhile, in the southeastern province of Şırnak, Turkish commando units determined five shelters and caves believed to be used by the PKK during an operation launched against the group on May 16 and 17, Doğan News Agency reported on May 18.

The shelters included a total of 2,000 anti-aircraft ammunition, 1,000 Bixi machine gun ammunition, 20 mortar ammunition, 20 bazooka ammunition and two hand-made explosive devices, which were all later annihilated by the Turkish military forces. 

Separately, six PKK militants were killed in an air strike in the southeastern province of Hakkari and one in the eastern province of Erzurum during a clash with security forces late on May 17, authorities said, according to a report by the state-run Anadolu Agency released one day later.  

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu told reporters during the opening of a service building in the northwestern province of Yalova that security forces had “neutralized” six PKK militants, taking a shelter in a cave, at 4:30 a.m. local time on May 18, not giving details as to where the militants were located at the time.

Authorities use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the militants in question were either killed, wounded or captured. 

The minister indicated that the PKK militants were involved in an attack in April in eastern Turkey, which killed a relative of İbrahim Vanlı, the Muradiye district head of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the eastern province of Van.

“Our security forces gave the necessary punishment to three of them,” Soylu said, referring to the killing of İbrahim Vanlı’s nephew, Adnan Vanlı. 

“We wrote on the wall: ‘This will not go unreciprocated’… To those who are confusing Turkey with the old Turkey, we are giving our answers and are continuing to give, by growing, enriching our economy and taking secure steps to the future,” he added.