ANKARA – The Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said he is determined to continue the fight against the PKK. He said this after an emergency meeting with the army after thirteen Turkish soldiers died in an attack by Kurdish seperatist movement PKK. Also seven PKK-fighters died.
It was the biggest PKK attack in about a year time. The soldiers prepared an attack on a group of PKK-members, but it turned out to be an ambush: the PKK-group threw a hand grenade and in the fire that followed the thirteen soldiers died.
The attack in the South Eastern province of Diyarbakir didn’t come totally unexpected. In the beginning of June, the PKK ended a cease fire that lasted more than a year, but gave the government time to come with concrete measures to solve the Kurdish issue after the elections of June 12. That didn’t happen, also because there was a crisis in parliament. Two opposition parties, the CHP and pro-Kurdish BDP, refused to take the oath because part of their elected MP’s are in prison and were not released despite earlier commitments Thursday the negotiations between the government and the BDP failed. A few hours later the news of the killed soldiers came.
Several Turkish media also connect the attack to a recent declaration by the imprisoned PKK-leader Öcalan. He said, via his lawyers, that there was a deal between the government and the PKK to set up a ‘peace council’. The government denied, but does admit that representatives with the state talk with the PKK-leader. Öcalan. Öcalan declared already months ago that the Turkish goernment could choose: present a solution to the Kurdish question, or ‘total war’.
Kurdish pres agency Firat claims there was no ambush or hand grenade. The soldiers allegedly died because of a mistake of the Turkish army, that was carrying out an air attack on PKK-fighters and accidently hit soldiers too.