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.
Turkish defense industry exports increased by 21 percent in January-August period reaching over $1 billion, according to the national association of exporters.
High inflation figures are largely related to food prices, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said.
Turkish Aerospace Industries handed last four of modernized F-16 fighters to Pakistan in a ceremony in Ankara on Tuesday.
Tuesday's newspapers cover the corruption probe targeting President's Erdogan's son, PM Davutoglu’s unveiling of the new government program as well as more detentions in Turkey’s ‘wiretapping’ sweep.
Turkey's Foreign Ministry urged Israel to withdraw their decision and stick to international law.
'To open the Halki Seminary (historic theological Greek school) is easy, but Greek side should take similar steps,' said President Erdogan.
The Turkish Exporters' Assembly announced a 5.2 percent rise in exports for August.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry rejected claims about the country’s general consulate staff in Mosul, who have been kept hostage by rebels in Iraq since June 11.
New Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu outlined the coming government’s program, highlighting the resolution of the Kurdish question.
The programme put emphasis on a strong economy, envisaging a monetary policy which stepped up the struggle against inflation but also supported growth and employment
Erdogan and Davutoglu, who was appointed prime minister last week, have both made clear that their efforts to curb Gulen's influence will continue in their new roles
Amasya MP Mehmet Naci Bostanci is elected ruling AK Party's new parliamentary group deputy chairman.
Turkey's President Erdogan made his first foreign visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as president on Monday.
Ali Babacan will retain overall responsibility for the economy in the new cabinet, government spokesman Bulent Arinc said
Monday's newspapers cover German weekly Der Spiegel’s claims on foreign spying on Turkey, Turkish intelligence service’s purchase of a lie detector and ongoing construction works of Turkey’s Eurasia Tunnel Project.
Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will discuss the issue of spying claims on Turjey with American and German leaders at the upcoming NATO summit and U.N. general assembly.