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.
Turkey's largest airport, Ataturk Airport is set to become Turkey’s first air hub to appear on Google Street View
Turkey has issued a travel warning, advising its citizens to delay trip to Russia following the downing of Russian warplane on Tuesday
Local Bar Association president killed amid gunfire in Diyarbakir province
In a sign of rapprochement gaining momentum between the two sides, Russia is backing the Syrian affiliate of the PKK terrorist organization, PYD, in Azez
IOM staff on the ground both in Turkey and Greece believes a large-scale Turkish coastguard training operation 'have disrupted some of the traffic'
'Our policy remains unchanged and the claims, therefore, are inaccurate,' a government official says
Construction of Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline on schedule for completion in 2018, says Turkish FM Cavusoglu
Turkish president accuses Moscow of striking opposition groups in Syria under pretext of fighting ISIL
Turkish FM Cavusoglu says Ankara does not favor tension with its 'neighbor and friend' Russia
Meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels comes days after Turkey downs Russian warplane
Turkish president seeks to meet his Russian counterpart in Paris on November 30
Friday's papers cover back-and-forth between Turkish and Russian presidents over shooting down of Russian warplane by Turkey
Turkey halts air raids against ISIL in Syria in order to avoid any further crises as with downed Russian warplane
Turkish prime minister uses UK newspaper column to say Turkey will continue to defend its territory but work with Russia and allies to calm tensions
Turkish president says the incident with Russia not a 'cause of war; this is what the international engagement rules requires of all nations'
Russian ambassador in Ankara, Andrey Karlov, summoned to Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs