Posted on July 13, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Kurdistan, PKK
Turkish police. Photo: Reuters
IZMIR,— Eleven suspected members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK group were arrested by Turkish security forces in anti-terror raids Wednesday in the western province of Izmir, Turkish state-run Anadolu agency reported.
According to security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking with the media, a shotgun, a gun and a series of organizational documents were also found during the raids.
The suspects have been charged with belonging to a terrorist organization and planning to act on behalf of a terrorist organization, the sources said.
Since July 2015, Turkey initiated a controversial military campaign against the PKK in the country’s southeastern Kurdish region after Ankara ended a two-year ceasefire agreement. Since the beginning of the campaign, Ankara has imposed several round-the-clock curfews, preventing civilians from fleeing regions where the military operations are being conducted.
Observers say the crackdown has taken a heavy toll on the Kurdish civilian population and accuse Turkey of using collective punishment against the minority.
Activists have accused the security forces of causing huge destruction to urban centres and killing Kurdish civilians.
Pro-Kurdish opposition political parties say about 1,000 civilians, mostly Kurds, have perished in the fighting, since the Turkish offensive against the PKK centred in towns and cities in Turkish Kurdistan.
The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 78-million population.
A large Turkey’s Kurdish community openly sympathise with PKK rebels.