Turkish police discover buried PKK weapons in İzmir
İZMİR – Doğan News Agency
AA photoTurkish police have discovered five shotguns buried under a playground in the Çiğli district of the Aegean province of İzmir after launching an investigation into sketches seized during an anti-terror operation in the Nusaybin district of the southeastern province of Mardin.
The process which led to the discovery of the weapons was initiated during an operation against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Nusaybin, where a number of sketches and notes were seized from an apartment used by PKK militants.
One of the sketches included a detailed description of the location of five automatic rifles and 100 bullets made by a militant, identified as Fuat, on March 5, 2015.
“You get off at the ‘Tesis’ stop, walk 20 meters past the park and face the retaining walls,” the description begins, explaining step-by-step to the reader where the weapons could be found, who put them there and on what date, in addition to the cost of the operation - $2,000 in this case.
An investigation into the seized documents revealed the weapons were buried in a park near the Egekent neighborhood of İzmir’s Çiğli district, where a sports complex and a children’s playground are located.
The excavation works were initiated cautiously by the police, as a bomb squad initially protected the area against the possibility that explosives might have been buried in the location. However, a number of automatic shotguns and cartridges were retrieved – in line with the information in the sketches.
According to security sources, the PKK might have buried shotguns instead of Kalashnikov rifles – a weapon commonly used by the militant group – in order to use them in “provocative attacks” in urban areas.
Bomb-laden bus in Diyarbakır
In a separate incident, police in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır discovered a minibus loaded with one ton of explosives in the province’s Ergani district on late June 20.
The explosives in the minibus, which was carrying a fake plate, were deactivated by bomb experts after police teams evacuated nearby houses and blocked the entrances and exits to the neighborhood of the scene.
The vehicle was taken to a police station, while an investigation was ongoing.
A large-scale operation against PKK militants were launched in the region independently of this incident, as a curfew was declared early on June 21 in 25 Diyarbakır villages located within the Lice, Hani, Silvan and Hazro districts.
Armored vehicles and professional teams were dispatched to the area as part of the operation.
Meanwhile, aerial operations also continued against the PKK, as the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) carried out aerial operations against PKK targets in rural areas of Lice and northern Iraq’s Kandil, Sinat and Haftanin regions late on June 20, according to a statement posted on its official website.
Urgent expropriation in Sur
The Environment and Urban Planning Ministry has sent its defense to a local court, as a legal battle continues with regards to an urgent expropriation decision in Diyarbakır’s Sur district.
In the defense submitted on behalf of the Prime Ministry, the ministry said that only 907 of the 8,818 buildings in the district had official authorization while the remaining structures were either unlicensed or were at risk of collapse.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government recently revealed plans to demolish and rebuild a number of districts in Turkey’s southeast, including Sur, which were badly damaged by clashes between militants and Turkish security forces. Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had previously cited Spain’s reconstruction of the historic town of Toledo as an example for Sur.