Usually when a number of soldiers die in the fight against the PKK, you see more flags on the street over the following days. Not this time. Seventeen soldiers died last weekend in the southeast of the country, but even though the national grief is no less than any other time, now there’s a lot of criticism of the army. Last year, the army got permission for cross border operations into northern Iraq and quite a few heavy air strikes and ground attacks followed. The army got a lot of support, even more so because they said they really hit the PKK hard. So how come this weekend a group of 350 PKK fighters could attack an army post in a heavily secured area not even in northern Iraq but in Turkey itself? One of the things that amazes people is how easily for example the PKK guys managed to stay invisible to the thermal cameras the Turkish army uses to detect movement: by simply wearing wet raincoats. The PKK is still the main killer as far as the Turkish public is concerned, but they also wonder more and more if the army is doing its job well enough to prevent its own men from getting killed.
Weekly newsletter with news and analysis from all four parts of Kurdistan. Costs a little and brings you a lot, every Sunday!
Podiumbouwer Maaike van Kempen made this website.