Ankara, September 14, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
Nearly 200 militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have been killed in ongoing security operations in the Çukurca district of the southeastern province of Hakkari, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has announced, as recently appointed Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu vowed that Ankara would be “relentless” against terrorism.
“We will have no tolerance for terrorism. We are going to make all of our technical and intelligence equipment ready on the ground. I want to repeat: We will be relentless,” Soylu told reporters on Sept. 14, saying “meticulous” efforts against terror are ongoing.
“We have a lot to do to prevent acts by the terrorist organization and to increase peace and calm. A massive struggle has been waged up to now. Our basic principal is to continue the struggle with the same determination and understanding,” he added.
Saying the government needs support from residents in Turkey’s east and southeast, as well as the security forces, Soylu vowed that “Turkey will be successful against terror.”
Meanwhile, the TSK has announced that over 190 PKK militants have been killed in ongoing clashes between the security forces and the PKK militants in Hakkari’s Çukurca district.
Seven militants were killed on Sept. 14 in the Çilekli Tepe region, bringing the total number of militants killed in Çukurca to 195.
Also in Hakkari, Turkish warplanes conducted airstrikes against the PKK targets, killing two militants and destroying an ammunition store belonging to the outlawed group.
The jets struck PKK targets in rural Hakkari between 8:26 p.m. and 9:04 p.m. on Sept. 13, according to the Turkish General Staff.
Elsewhere, weapons, ammunition and explosives were seized in an operation against the PKK in the Tatvan district of the southeastern province of Batvan on Sept. 13.
Rocket launchers, rifles, hand grenades, ammunition, walkie-talkies and organizational documents were among the objects confiscated in the operation, according to a statement released by the Bitlis Governor’s Office.
Separately, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu commented on the Sept. 12 PKK car bomb attack in the eastern province of Van that wounded 53 people, saying the outlawed group aims to make the Kurdish people “Marxist and atheist.”
“Their [PKK militants] basic target is the faith of our Muslim, faithful, conservative Kurdish siblings. They are trying to make them Marxists and atheists. They are oppressing those [who they cannot change],” Çavuşoğlu said.