Thermal cameras to be turned off during PKK withdrawal

Reportedly, while the PKK is withdrawing from Turkey, thermal cameras will be turned off, military observation towers will be evacuated and Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) will be deactivated.

Thermal cameras to be turned off during PKK withdrawal

World Bulletin/News Desk

As part of measures taken to prevent any confrontation or clash between Turkish security forces and the members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) while the PKK is withdrawing from Turkey, thermal cameras will be turned off, military observation towers will be evacuated and Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) will be deactivated, the Sabah daily reported on Thursday.

According to the daily, there will be one coordinating military officer in each of the 120 military outposts along the withdrawal route.

These military officers will be responsible for directing military units during the PKK withdrawal and will be in constant communication with the governor of the province they are in. Governors will act in cooperation with the Interior Ministry and the Gendarmerie General Command.

No legal amendment was made regarding the conditions of the PKK withdrawal, including the addressing of concerns that were raised regarding ensuring the militants' safety during the journey and releasing the security forces from the requirement to pursue terrorist activity.

Therefore, it was decided that the Heron UAVs will be deactivated during the withdrawal because security forces are required to take action when Herons detect the movement of terrorists.

The withdrawal of PKK members will take place between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., according to Sabah's report. They will use the path they always use to enter Turkey and describe as a “safe corridor.”

During the daytime, PKK members will wait for the cover of darkness in rocky areas.

The PKK members are expected to leave Turkey as part of ongoing talks between state officials and the imprisoned leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, which aim to resolve the country's long-standing conflict.

In an attempt to resolve the country's decades-old Kurdish problem, at the end of last year the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government launched negotiations with Ocalan, who is incarcerated on Imrali Island in the Sea of Marmara.

In past months, Ocalan, who, despite his 14 years in prison, still wields enormous clout over the PKK as well as millions of nationalist Kurds in Turkey, called on PKK militants to lay down their arms and leave Turkey.

The PKK says it has half of its 7,000 militants in Turkey and the other half in northern Iraq, where it maintains its primary camps in remote, nearly impassable mountains. The Turkish government estimates the total number to be fewer than 7,000.

Last Mod: 26 Nisan 2013, 10:28
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