Turkey’s Anadolu Agency has reported that a historic mosque has partially burned as a result of a PKK terror attack in the central Sur district of the southeastern Diyarbakir province.
The PKK terror attack on the mosque was allegedly carried out by IEDs. The fire department and security forces could not respond to the fire due to PKK terrorists opening fire with long range rifles, according to the Anadolu Agency.
The damaged Fatih Pasha Mosque, which is known by its lead-covered dome, is the first Ottoman-constructed Muslim place of worship in the historical district of Diyarbakir. It was built by Biyikli Mehmet Pasha, the Ottoman governor of Diyarbakir, during the years 1516 and 1520.
The mosque had previously been attacked by PKK terrorists and its doors, walls, and windows were reportedly damaged.
The mosque is located in a neighbourhood called Fatih Pasha, which takes its name from the mosque, where a curfew has been declared by the governorate of Diyarbakir along with five other neighbourhoods in the district since last Wednesday.
The PKK terrorists have reportedly bomb-trapped a number of ditches and barricades, which have been dug and erected by the group, around historical mosques like Fatih Pasha, Arab Sheik, Haci Hamit, and Hasirli mosques, and several churches belonging to Armenian, Catholic, and Protestant denominations.
A special forces officer who was seriously injured by terrorists who opened fire from inside the Fatih Pasha Mosque yesterday, was pronounced dead according to the AA report.
Additionally, the head of Diyarbakir bar association Tahir Elci and two policemen died during clashes between PKK terrorists and police officers in the Sur district on Nov. 28.
The incident occurred immediately after Elci had given a press conference next to another historical mosque in the district, urging the ditches to be closed in order to end the armed clashes in the district.
“We do not want any clashes and weapons in this ancient region which hosted several civilizations," Elci said during the press statement before the attack took place.
PKK’s youth wing YDG-H has reportedly dug many ditches in the historical district and other districts in several provinces in eastern and southeastern Turkey in order to prevent access to Turkish security forces.
The PKK is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, NATO, the US, and EU.
Turkey has long been confronted with armed attacks in its southeastern regions by the PKK, which was founded in 1974 by Abdullah Ocalan and his supporters in Ankara. Armed clashes and acts of violence have continued on and off for more than 30 years, claiming more than 40,000 lives.
PKK terror attacks have killed more than 150 security officials and over 30 civilians in Turkey since the group’s umbrella organisation, the KCK, unilaterally ended a two and a half year-long ceasefire with the government on July 11 and threatened Turkey with attacks.