A politician of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) was killed by the PKK terror group in the country’s southeastern province on Monday night, a security official said.
Deryan Aktert, the AK Party chairman for the Dicle district of the southeastern Diyarbakir province, was shot dead at 11 pm local time (2000 GMT) at a gas station he ran. This was the second killing of an AK Party figure by the PKK in two days.
On October 9, Aydin Mustu, the party’s district deputy head, was gunned down outside his home in the Ozalp district of the eastern province of Van.
Last year, Aktert was the target of another armed attack and had received several death threats, the source added.
Both Diyarbakir and Van province, which are around 300 kilometers (185 miles) apart, have seen numerous PKK attacks since the group resumed its 30-year armed campaign in July last year.
The PKK is recognised as a terrorist organization by the US, EU and Turkey.
In an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk, the deputy chairman of AK Party, Mehdi Eker, said the killings were a “futile attempt” by the PKK to “suppress and frighten the AK Party”. But, he added, “We will continue with our struggle.”
The leaders of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) condemned the killings and sent their condolences to Aktert’s family.
“Being a political party member cannot be a reason for a person to be accused and to become a target,” HDP leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag said in a statement.