Siirt Police Department issued a statement on Saturday saying that the outlawed PKK allegedly handed out long barreled fake weapons, resembling real ones, to youth in Turkey’s southeastern province of Siirt in order to cause 'provocation' in the region.
According to a statement, the PKK, which is under the command of Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) - the umbrella organisation of the PKK - distributed fake weapons to children between the ages of 9-15, who reside near military residences.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU.
Stating that the militant group is getting ready for mass protests, the Siirt Police Department said, “the separatist militant group distributed long barreled fake weapons which are hard to distinguish from real rifles especially during night."
"This way, the group wants to cause chaos in the region by making the security forces become alert and mistakenly shoot the children, and they also want to misdirect the police while they organised armed attacks.”
Last week, subunits of the PKK connected to the KCK had given instructions to the villagers of Uludere - a district of Turkey’s southeastern province Sirnak - to establish a committee to negotiate with local military and civilian authorities for opening the border to smugglers.
The negotiation committee was to be tasked with organising villagers to hold mass protests aimed at forcing open the border crossing with Iraq, after prior demands were refused by the Turkish military and local officials.
The KCK released a statement on July 12 saying that a nearly three-year long ceasefire with the Turkish government is over, saying that the Turkish government has failed to comply with articles of the agreement. This will lead to continuous armed conflicts and has been received as an open threat to Turkey.
The peace process began with government initiatives implemented in 2012 to resolve the 30 years of armed conflict between the government and PKK, which claimed the lives of more than 40,000 lives and injured thousands more mainly in the country’s southeastern provinces.
The PKK activities in the southeast have reportedly increased in southern Turkey since the statement has been released. This alerted Turkish security forces nationwide against potential militant attacks.