PKK Attacks

A) GENERAL / TERRORIST ATTACKS OF PKK 

  • In the last two months PKK yet again resorted to terrorist activities, as of September 10, killing 113 security personnel and 56 civilians including a child, injuring 609 people in total including 400 security personnel and 209 civilians, kidnapping 33 people, including 6 security personnel and 27 civilians, sabotaging railways and reservoirs and vandalizing hundreds of official, including ambulances, and civilian vehicles.
  • On September 6, 2015, in Yuksekova, Hakkari and on September 8, 2015, in Igdır two terrorist attacks of PKK, resulted in 16 and 13 security personnel being killed respectively.    
  • A chain of protests have taken place all across the country with participation from all segments of society, condemning the deadly escalation of PKK attacks. 
  • PKK is recognized by the United States as a terrorist organization. Turkey and the United States are actively cooperating in combating terrorism in all its form and manifestations. 

B) RECENT VIOLENT ACTS AGAINST SOME MEDIA OUTLETS AND POLITICAL PARTY BUILDINGS

  • Freedom of expression and media is obviously one of the fundamental pillars of universal human rights and Turkey respects and does its utmost to protect and further promote these rights which are safeguarded by the Turkish constitution.  
  • As in any other democratic country, in Turkey everyone has the right to hold unarmed and peaceful meetings and demonstration marches. However; it is needless to say that the right to conduct rallies and demonstration marches are the cornerstone of a democratic society unless they do not violate the rights and freedoms of others and public order.  
  • Furthermore, all remedies are available against violations of those fundamental rights and freedoms.
  • In the course of above mentioned protests there were violent acts against some media outlets and political party buildings.
  • Turkish Government has never endorsed, yet strongly condemned those attacks. 
  • Prime Minister Davutoğlu stated that those attacks are not acceptable and protest is a right but safety of buildings of media, civil society, political parties can by no means be endangered.  
  • Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş also clearly stated that the attacks towards the media outlets and political parties are unacceptable and that the Government of Turkey condemns at the strongest possible terms the perpetrators of these acts. 
  • He expressed that the media organs are indispensable parts of democracy and that one could disagree with their broadcasts yet resorting to violent acts and attacks could not be endorsed.
  • As for the attacks towards party buildings, Deputy Prime Minister Kurtulmuş stated that one has a right, within democratic practices, to protest a political party member or the activities of that particular party, however while doing that targeting a political party is unacceptable.
  • Turkish Government also published various statements calling for restraint and calm. Moreover, the perpetrators of the attacks have swiftly been brought to justice. The Istanbul Governorate announced on 9 September that a total of 93 people were detained over attacks on the night of 8 September. 
  • The security forces have promptly intensified measures for the protection of media institutions and political parties. 
  • The removal of particular content of some internet sites was ordered in accordance with court decisions on grounds of inter alia violations of personal rights, of right to privacy, of the secrecy of an ongoing terror and criminal investigation, national security and public order, protection of right to live, protection of property, prevention of crime or protection of public health. 
  • In these cases, the court ordered if the content removal was not technically possible, then access to internet sites at which these contents were published be blocked, as a last resort.
  • There’s no doubt that Turkey will continue to do its best to improve the freedom of expression, at the same time, to ensure the safety of all its citizens. 

C) SITUATION IN CIZRE 

  • The terrorist organisation PKK, which used to be active in rural areas, has shifted its activities to urban areas following the elections held on June 7, 2015.
  • It is understood that the purpose of this shift is to intimidate the civilian population and to use the possible loss of civilian life for its disinformation campaign.
  • PKK resorted to using the civilian population as “human shield” in some settlements, including Cizre, a southeastern town of Turkey in order to prevent the operations of the Turkish security forces to apprehend the culprits of terrorist attacks. 
  • Between  January 1 and September 11, 2015 there have been a total of 218 attacks by PKK terrorist organization. Of these incidents 192 were violent attacks involving fire arms, molotovs and explosives. 
  • The PKK terrorist group youth entity-YDG-H militants set up 140 ditches and barricades in the 4 neighborhoods (Nur, Cudi, Yafes, Sur) of Cizre  with the aim of   preventing intervention by  law enforcement forces  in the safe houses and ammunition storages that they have formed in residential areas.
  • In order to counter the activities of the terrorist group and restore public order in the town center, law enforcement authorities decided to carry out an operation against the PKK terrorists. 
  • To that end, a curfew has been declared on September 4, 2015 and it was revoked on September 11, 2015 at 7 a.m. Due to the operational requirements and taking into account the security risks involved, the curfew was re-introduced for the second time as of 19:00 on September 13, 2015, until the morning of the September 14. For areas that are not in the operational zone, the curfew has been applied in a more flexible manner. 
  • The operations by the security forces aim at  ending  actions disrupting  normal life,  such as setting up mined barricades and digging ditches in the town streets  and apprehending  the YDG-H members as well as  terrorists that infiltrated to the  region from terrorist camps   and bring them to justice. 
  • As part of the operation, mines have been cleared and bombs in the amount of 800 kg have been confiscated. Sizeable arms and ammunition have also been captured. During the operations, the barricades and ditches have been dismantled and 20 improvised explosive devices (IED) have been destroyed. 
  • 7 terrorists who used fire arms against law enforcement forces have been neutralized and 10 terrorists were taken into custody. The losses of the terrorists are estimated as close to 40.
  • Since 4th of September 2015, at minimum, 21 rockets, 19 IEDs and a booby trap have been used against our law enforcement forces and 15 security personnel were wounded during these terrorist attacks.
  • During the operations at Cizre;
  • Security forces showed utmost vigilance to protect the civilians and commensurate counter-terrorism measures were taken in compliance with legal obligations. 
  • Sufficient supplies of food and medicine were provided to the civilians in the town. 
  • Cizre State hospital was kept in service with its 9 specialized doctors, 2 generalist doctors, 22 healthcare personnel and 13 administrative and auxiliary personnel.