Participation in PKK down by 90 pct: Interior ministry
ANKARAParticipation in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has decreased by 90 percent, according to the Turkish Interior Ministry.
The ministry said a total of 41 people joined the PKK between January and April compared to the same period last year.
In a statement on its Twitter account, the ministry shared the number of militants who joined the PKK, or surrendered to security forces during the first four months of 2017.
Some 415 people joined the PKK in the first four months of last year, but this number fell by 90 percent in the same period of 2017, going down to 41, according to the ministry.
A total of 229 PKK militants surrendered to Turkish security forces over the same period, it said.
In 2016, some 152 people joined the PKK in January, 124 in February, 80 in March and 59 in April. This year, 11 people joined the outlawed group in January, 12 in February, 10 in March and 8 in April.
Meanwhile, two PKK militants were killed and seven soldiers were wounded in clashes erupted in the Çukurca district of the southeastern province of Hakkari on May 4.
Security forces determined a group of PKK militants in Çukurca where the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) carried out air strikes against eight targets with F-16s and Cobra helicopters.
Clashes erupted after PKK militants wanted to attack the security forces from the Iraqi side, which resulted in the deaths of PKK militants, wounding seven soldiers, of whom one was severely injured.
The Hakkari Governor’s Office in a statement after the incidents said the militants attempted to sneak into the Güvendağı military base region at around 10 p.m. on May 3.
“Searches were conducted in the area and plenty of rocket launchers and Kalashnikov rifles were seized. The wounded soldiers are receiving treatment in the Hakkari State Hospital,” the statement released on May 4 said.
The TSK also released a statement on the issue, saying that the clashes started late on May 3 and continued until 3 a.m. on May 4. According to the army, four weapon launching positions, two caves and two shelters were also destroyed.
Elsewhere, Turkish warplanes carried out air strikes against PKK targets in the Zap region of northern Iraq.