Attacks kill 788 Turkish troops in AKP’s era

Attacks kill 788 Turkish troops in AKP’s era

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Attacks kill 788 Turkish troops in AKP’s era

Hürriyet photo

Some 788 members of the security forces have been killed in terror-related clashes and attacks since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) assumed power in 2002, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay has revealed. Another 4,487 members of the security forces were injured during the same period from Nov. 2, 2002, to Dec. 16, 2011, Atalay said, adding that there were 11,734 incidents of violence. The minister released the figures in response to a parliamentary question by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) lawmaker Adnan Şefik Çirkin.

Deputy Premier Bekir Bozdağ, meanwhile, defended talks between state officials and Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“If you are fighting terrorism and losing many soldiers, and if you want to rid the country of this problem, what’s wrong for officials to talk to the inmate who created and led that terrorist organization? This is an opportunity,” Bozdağ told Anatolia news agency.

“There is no problem with talking to Öcalan, just as in the past and when need be in the future, if that’s to the country’s benefit,” he said.

The minister has said contacts with Öcalan dated back to the three-party coalition of late Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit, which governed Turkey when Öcalan was captured in Kenya in February 1999. A serious political crisis erupted earlier this month when the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and four other of its officials, who have all been involved in talks with Öcalan and the PKK, were summoned for questioning.