PKK attacks continue as military operations end

HAKKARİ – Doğan News Agency – 13.8.2012 – Members of the Kurdistan Workers Party attack southeastern Şemdinli’s Dereceik district as the governor’s office in the city announces the military operations end.

Following the Hakkari Governor’s Office’s announcement that the 19-day-long military operation in the southeastern province’s Şemdinli district had ended, Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members carried out several attacks in the region.PKK militants in Şemdinli’s Derecik district shot at village guards on patrol duty Aug. 11, but no casualties were reported. The real target was said to be the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) mayor of Derecik, Husret Dinç, because his house was attacked on the same night.

PKK members also opened an identity checkpoint in Yüksekova, Hakkari, halting road traffic, on Aug. 12. The militants distributed PKK propaganda for nearly an hour, and then allowed the civilian drivers to continue on their way. On another occasion in the same district, alleged members of the organization set a fuel tanker that reportedly carried fuel for Turkish military vehicles on fire.

‘Careful’ operation

These most recent attacks came after the Hakkari Governorship’s announcement on Aug. 11 that military operations in the Şemdinli district had ended. An official statement described the process as “careful and decisive” and stated that “many PKK militants have been rendered ineffective” as a result of the operation. The governorship also thanked the people of Semdinli for their “patient” attitude. The operations began July 23 and have continued for the past 19 days. Seven zones in Şemdinli had been taken under a temporary military prohibition amid the operations.

Meanwhile, the driver of a military bus that was struck in an attack by Kurdish militants in İzmir last week was officially declared brain dead Aug. 12. The driver, Hasan Furkan Özmen, was lauded for preventing greater loss of life by immediately stopping the bus after it was hit, thereby preventing it from falling over a cliff. Özmen’s heart reportedly stopped twice while he was being transferred to the hospital following the Aug. 9 attack.

One soldier, Özkan Ateşli, was killed in the Aug. 9 attack, while 10 others were injured, when PKK militants detonated a landmine as the military bus passed by on a road in İzmir’s Foça district. One suspect was arrested in Foça on charges of being a carrier for the attack. In Izmir on Aug. 12 nearly 5,000 people staged a protest to condemn the attack in Foça. The protestors, who organized the rally via social media websites, filled the city’s main square, Gündoğdu, carrying Turkish flags.