A Turkish soldier was killed on Sunday evening in the southern Hatay province at the Syrian border after Turkey’s security forces clashed with a group seeking to enter Turkey illegally, the armed forces released in a statement on Monday.
According to the Turkish military, the clash took place in the Yayladagi district of southern Hatay province at 1715 GMT.
Hatay’s Governor Ercan Topaca said in a statement that the soldier, Mustafa Uygun, who was working at police station for six months, was attacked with a knife by one of the smugglers and was fatally injured.
"When the human smugglers were passing (to Turkey) the soldier intervened, there was then a scuffle in the bushes. During this quarrel, the soldier's neck was cut, and he was martyred," Topaca said.
"The investigation is still continuing. There is a gang (of human smugglers) here. Some of them are on this side (Turkish land), and some of them are on the other side (Syria), he added.
In response to statements in social media, Topaca said there is no restriction for entrance or exit the district adding that the security measures have been tightened and officers are searching vehicles at entry point.