Gov’t bashed for border posts
ANKARA / DİYARBAKIR - Doğan News Agency
The relatives of Muradiye Çelikkaya, the sister of slain Sgt Kamil Çelikkaya who was killed in an attack by the suspected PKK militants in Hakkari, are trying to calm her as the soldiers carry his coffin during a funeral in Ankara’s Kocatepe Mosque. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ, in which six soldiers and two village guards were killed.
Border posts have been an open target for PKK militants due to their insecure structure and position, İnce said, blaming Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz, Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin and Environment and Urbanization Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar for “neglect of duty” in his criminal complaint.
“The government had announced that TOKİ [Housing Development Administration] would build safe border posts, yet the situation of the Geçimli Military Post [where six soldiers were killed] is miserable. TOKİ is building luxury villas instead of safe posts,” İnce said.
Terrorism and mines are affecting construction: Minister
The construction of some police stations in the area could not be completed due to terrorism and the landmine risk, Bayraktar said.
Bayraktar answered CHP Istanbul deputy Sabahat Akkiraz’s written inquiry saying the soldiers had requested the construction be put on hold in order to ensure the implementation of the necessary security precautions. “The temperament of the region, lot and registry issues, land conditions and terrorist activities affect the construction process. We came across landmines during the construction of many buildings. The risk, difficulty and cost of landmine-clearing procedures affect the process negatively. The duration of work in the area is only four months. Finding and employing workers and technical personnel is a struggle since there is a risk of kidnapping by terrorists.”
Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has implied foreign countries support terror against Turkey, without mentioning a specific country. The prime minister recalled a recent attack in the village of Geçimli in Hakkari province by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in his speech. “We struggle against many problems connected to each other both inside and outside of Turkey,” Erdoğan said yesterday.
Soldier’s funeral held amind ongoing clashes
Deputy PM Bekir Bozdağ (2nd L) CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (3rd L) and Chief of General Staff General Necdet Özel (4th L) join sergeant Kamil Çelikkaya’s funeral.
As military operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party continue in Hakkari’s Şemdinli district, the victim of Hakkari attack expert sergeant Kamil Çelikkaya was laid to rest in Ankara yesterday.
Parliament speaker Cemil Çiçek, main opposition party CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Chief of General Staff General Necdet Özel, Minister of defense, Nationalist movement Party (MHP) Leader Devlet Bahçeli attended the ceremony. Çelikkaya was buried in Ankara cemetery.
The eight members of the security forces were killed late Aug. 4 in a PKK attack on military outposts in Hakkari.
Three soldiers kidnapped
Meanwhile, three Turkish soldiers have been taken hostage by suspected members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who blocked the Lice-Bingöl highway in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Aug. 6. Diyarbakır Gov. Mustafa Toprak said the PKK formed a checkpoint on the Lice-Bingöl highway near the village of Tuzla at 8:10 p.m.
“PKK members forced three soldiers, who were on their way back to their hometowns, off the bus going from Şanlıurfa to Trabzon and coerced them into going to the mountainous part of the area. Land and air operations have been launched to rescue the soldiers,” Toprak said.
Testimony from the bus driver and passengers has reportedly been taken. Operations in the area continue to find the kidnapped soldiers, according to reports. The ongoing clashes have been some of the heaviest and bloodiest in years. Some 115 PKK members were reported to be killed in the operatiıns, according to information by Turkish Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin.
‘Operations to continue’
Counter terror operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) will continue until all regions are cleared of terrorists, the Ministry of Interior said in a written statement yesterday. According to the ministry’s statement, the terrorist organization has started to block roads and hinder identity check activities in an effort to create chaos and anarchy in the southeastern region. “The operations continue both in the air and on land to catch and neutralize terrorists. The operations will continue until terror is finalized and all regions are cleared of terrorists,” the statement read.