PKK dealt a blow, says advisor amid new raids
ANKARA / DİYARBAKIR
Guns seized during the operation by the Turkish army on Görese Mountain are displayed. AA photoAir raids, pinpoint strikes and operations against urban militants have dealt a serious blow to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and disrupted its plans to spark a popular uprising in the southeast, a senior official said yesterday.
The statement came on the same day the Turkish military announced that 21 PKK militants had been killed in southeastern Turkey during a large-scale operation that has entered its fifth day.
“The psychological supremacy the organization sought in the region has been fully broken. The state has established a stronger psychological and physical control. There is no longer any secure ground for the PKK to act as it pleases,” said Yalçın Akdoğan, a Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s chief political adviser.
Security officials said yesterday the militants killed in the military operation on Göresi Mountain, located on the boundary between Elazığ and Diyarbakır provinces, included a regional commander of the organization.
The regional leader was Hüseyin Akdoğan, and large amounts of ammunition and explosives belonging to the PKK were seized during the operation, officials said.
Akdoğan said the tough measures on the PKK and its imprisoned leader had led the group into a state of disorganization.
“The organization has been left aimless and disorganized for months after its communication channels with jailed [leader] Abdullah Öcalan were cut off,” Akdoğan said. “[The PKK’s] ability to mobilize people in the streets through threats and bullying has been minimized.”
The official noted increasing support for Turkey against the PKK from the United States, the European Union and neighboring countries. He praised improved coordination between the security forces, adding that more operations were being conducted as a result of successful intelligence-gathering.
Akdoğan said government efforts to win over the Kurds were also paying off. “If it were not for PKK bullying, their political extensions would not have collected so much votes [in the last elections], nor would their militants have stayed another day in the mountains. Having endured the brutality of the terrorist organization, the people are now pleased to take a breath,” he said.
Akdoğan also said the much-criticized investigation into the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the alleged urban network of the PKK, was “being conducted within the limits of the law and under the control of the judiciary.”
Meanwhile, soldiers shot two plumbers late Dec. 20 after mistaking them for PKK members, the Mardin Governor’s Office said yesterday. One of the men died in the attack while the other was badly wounded, private news channel CNNTürk reported.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
Compiled from Anatolia news agency and Doğan news agency reports by the Daily News staff in Istanbul.