Details of PKK attack in Agri surface amid accusations over responsibility

Details of Saturday’s clashes between Turkish soldiers and PKK terrorists surface as investigation widens

Updated Jul 28, 2015

It is revealed that PKK terrorists used over 10,000 bullets in 15 hours long clash between PKK and the Turkish soldiers as further details attained by local media concerning the unexpected PKK attack on Turkish military staff Saturday in the eastern province of Agri.

PKK terrorists carried out the attack on Turkish soldiers near the town of Diyadin as soldiers were en route to provide security to locals taking part in a reported tree planting ceremony at the village of Yukari Tutek.

PKK is a recognised as a terrorist organization by Turkey as well as NATO and the EU.

According to military sources, the clash began on early morning Saturday as the PKK terrorists positioned on a hilltop fired on a military convoy and the soldiers responded. The military determined that the PKK used weapons and anti-aircraft guns which were presumed to have been piled near the hilltop where they were positioned, since military experts agreed that 25 militants would only be able to carry enough weapons and ammunition to last for about two hours.

During the clashes the military attempted to rescue the wounded soldiers with a Sikorsky helicopter but the helicopter was targeted and hit by PKK weapons as well as two of the four assault helicopters sent to the area.

The attack has sparked debate between government officials and the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) with both sides blaming each other for the incident.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu took a stern tone against the attack, which came after months of peace negotiations, describing the armed attack as a provocative action plotted by the “separatist terrorist organisation” ahead of Turkey’s June 7 general election.

A peace process was initiated in 2012 to resolve the three-decade long conflict between the Turkish government and the PKK that has claimed the lives of 40,000 people.

Explaining the incident to the public, Davutoglu reminded that “The armed militants conducted a similar act in the village of Gungoren in Agri’s Dogubeyazit district recently where the villagers were pressured by the militants to vote for a certain party – the HDP. When another act like this was intended to be carried out in the village of Yukari Tutek, the security forces mobilised to prevent a similar atmosphere of pressure being created there.

“The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) are not required to provide explanation for actions intended to ensure public safety,” Davutoglu said.

PM Davutoglu urged HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas to stop acting as the speaker of the PKK and “decide whether he wants to be a democratic politician or a defender of an armed organisation which carries out raids to pressure the public.

“It is time to bring the real attitude towards the peace negotiations to the table,” he added.

Demirtas had blamed the government for the attack, saying the “incident was not a clash but a setup and the government tried to produce deaths.” He claimed that some HDP officials had gone to the scene to rescue wounded soldiers and met with fire during which “PKK guerillas” were killed.

However, according to the details that surfaced regarding the clash four soldiers were wounded while five militants were killed. An injured terrorist who was captured was also taken to hospital by the military.

Davutoglu visited the Gulhane Military Medical Academy (GATA) on Sunday where the wounded soldiers are staying at. He said “No one should pretend as if they are a peace dove,” referring to Demirtas, adding that this attack was a sign of “major contradiction and hypocrisy” at a time when PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan had just issued a disarmament call three weeks ago.

In the meantime, the government has announced on risk analysis reports for 20 priority provinces where the study is aimed at ensuring citizens are able to vote in a safe and independent atmosphere. A coordination centre was set up to report to the ministry of interior rather than the TAF, and around 50,000 security personnel have been trained who will be on duty during the elections.

TRTWorld and agencies