World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish armed forces have ended an almost three-week operation against PKK militants in the southeast region of Semdinli, bordering Iran and Iraq, and have killed "a large number" of militants, the local governor said in a statement on Saturday.
Turkish jets have bombarded outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) positions around the mountainous region in one of most intense bouts of fighting in recent years in a decades-long conflict which has killed 40,000 people.
"The aerial-supported operations launched by our security forces on July 23, 2012 ... were completed on Aug. 11, 2012 morning," said the governor's office of Hakkari, the province where Semdinli is located.
"As a result of the operations, conducted with determination and rigour, the terrorist organisation PKK was unable to reach its cruel goals and a large number of its members have been rendered ineffective," it said in a statement, employing a euphemism commonly used by officials to mean killed.
Erdogan said on Aug. 7 that 115 PKK militants had been killed in Semdinli. The fighting began after the PKK set up checkpoints and tried to establish a stronghold there.
The militants have fought for autonomy for Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984. Turkey, the United States and the European Union list the PKK as a terrorist organisation.
Murat Karayilan, the acting PKK leader, said last week the group was changing tactics with its battle in Semdinli, according to Firat News, a website close to the militants.
Instead of their traditional hit-and-run ambushes on Turkish security forces, PKK militants would remain positioned in Semdinli in an attempt to form a stronghold there, he said.
Suspected PKK militants ambushed a Turkish military bus in western Turkey on Thursday in an attack that killed one soldier and wounded at least 11 people. Turkish media reported a man was arrested on Saturday in connection with the attack.
Increased PKK violence is a headache for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan as he seeks to limit the impact at home of the conflict in Syria, where the PKK exerts growing authority in Kurdish areas and is receiving arms from Syrian forces, Ankara has said.
Gallup World Poll says while 60% of ethnic Turks are satisfied with Erdogan's leadership, this rate hits 67% among ethnic Kurds.
'No award is more important than the lives of our Palestinian brothers,' says Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
The arrested police officers include Yurt Atayun, former chief of Istanbul’s anti-terror police department
When they reached Gaza, the three shipments were received by the Palestinian Red Crescent
A letter released by Erdogan's office called on the U.S. group to condemn the Israeli government's policies
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the bombardment of Gaza was 'killing humanity'
Neither Israeli's nor Egypt under Al-Sisi are willing to get aid to help the Palestinians in Gaza, says Erdogan.
A week after Turkey and Egypt exhanged insults over the Israeli onslaught in Gaza, Ahmet Davutoglu says all main actors including Egypt had taken part in the cease-fire process
Scores of people also injured after public bus catches fire near Kavacik district
Shadow of slaughter of Palestinians looms over three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday
Painkillers, antibiotics and surgical supplies among 20 tons of aid
Travellers can use $4 billion service for free for one week. An estimated 7.5 million passengers are expected to use the new line.
Abdulrauf Gazi Mohammed flown from Egypt to hospital in city as Turkey moves to treat injured Palestinians stranded in Egypt
Ahmet Davutoglu says no sustainable truce is possible if reality of Hamas is ignored, hours before Israel renews military offensive in Gaza
Israel is perpetrating genocide in Gaza, said Erdogan, adding “Eventually the right will prevail and the oppressor will go to hell”
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said Turkey would reconsider its stance with Tel Aviv if Israeli government changes its mentality.