How many people have been killed by the PKK in Turkey since 2016?

Although last year saw an intense period of attacks, this year has been relatively calmer so far. Security forces and civilians alike have been targeted.

Photo by: Anadolu Agency
Photo by: Anadolu Agency

Family members mourn over the coffin of a Gendarmerie Special Sergeant killed by PKK during a funeral ceremony.

PKK attacks on civilians and security forces increased in 2016, but the nation experienced a period of relative calm in the first quarter of 2017, according to a Ministry of Interior report obtained by TRT World.

Civilians have sustained the brunt of these attacks, which are also conducted by offshoots or affiliates of the group, with 133 killed over a 17-month period from 1 January 2016 to 31 May 2017.

In total, 286 people were killed, including members of the police, military and security services. But a staggering 2,364 people were injured, some critically, by the group.

Here’s how many people have been killed and injured in PKK attacks between January 2016 and May 2017:

Who is the PKK?

The PKK is a left-wing, separatist armed organisation which is based along the based Turkish-Iraqi border. It has waged a protracted battle against the Turkish state since 1978, and is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the EU.

The group have a number of offshoots and affiliated groups and branches that engage in militant activity in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

A protracted struggle

A reconciliation process was initiated by the Turkish government with "the ultimate goal" of disarming the PKK in 2013 after an earlier, failed detente. Recent accords broke down in July 2015 when two police officers were killed. That caused a flare-up in the state’s fight against the group.

In the second half of 2015, PKK attacks left hundreds of people, including civilians dead, signalling an intense year of conflict.

But Turkey’s challenge with PKK attacks is not yet at an end. Over the past month, the group recently killed two young teachers, a return to a PKK policy of old, as well as two officials from the governing AK Party.

 State of Emergency

Turkey has been in a state of emergency since an attempted coup last year that Turkey says was perpetrated by US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. It has sustained terrorist attacks from other groups including Daesh.

Source: 
TRTWorld