The Turkish Interior Ministry on Friday announced that 88 people have been detained in operations targeting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its umbrella organization, the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK).
According to a ministry statement, the operations have been carried out in İzmir, Van, Adana, Erzurum, Mardin, Kars and Muş provinces to prevent possible actions on the part of the PKK and KCK during the anniversary of Oct. 6-7, 2014 events.
In reaction to efforts by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants to besiege Kobani, a Kurdish town in Syria, demonstrations began in Turkey’s Southeast in an attempt to support Syrian Kurdish fighters. The protests later morphed into fierce clashes between pro and anti-PKK groups in which 53 people were killed.
The Turkish Armed Forces on Friday announced that 68 PKK militants were killed during operations both inside and outside of Turkey between Sept. 28 and Oct. 4. Nine soldiers were killed and nine were injured during the operations.
Turkish authorities had conducted direct talks with jailed PKK chief Abdullah Öcalan for several years until a truce in effect collapsed in the summer of 2015. Since then, there have been clashes between the PKK and Turkish security forces.
More than 40,000 people, including 5,500 security force members, have been killed in four decades of fighting between the Turkish state and the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.