Turkey’s security services stated that military forces have inflicted heavy losses on PKK terrorist organisations during their large-scale anti-terror operations against the group’s hideouts in the mountainous terrain of the eastern Hakkari province, according to media accounts.
Military operations in the highlands of the province have particularly targeted the surrounding areas of the Buzul (Ice) Mountain, Ikiyaka Mountains, and the Doski Canyon whose altitudes range between 2,000 metres and 2,500 metres, with freezing temperatures that could go down as much as -15 degrees Celsius.
During the operations, Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) have secured a particular region called the Oramar Hill, commanding a strategic terrain where three critical border battalions - including Daglica, Keri Hill, and Pey Hill battalions - have been stationed along the Iranian border of the country.
Approximately 120 PKK members have been killed and six soldiers have been “martyred” in heavy clashes between Turkish special forces and the terrorist group in a time period spanning from late September into early November, throughout relentless operations.
Turkish media reported on Friday, based on the information from security services, that the PKK terrorist group has positioned its own teams in the mentioned areas during Turkey’s Resolution Process, placing their anti-aircraft DShK (Dushka) guns in the mountainous region by drilling mountainside and building emplacements and bunkers.
At the beginning of 2013, the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AK Party) announced a peace initiative, officially called the “Resolution Process” and the PKK seemed responsive until July 2015 under the instructions of its imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan.
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. Since then, armed clashes and acts of violence have continued on and off for more than 30 years, and claimed more than 40,000 lives.
The PKK is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU, US and NATO.
The latest military campaign, also supported by the air force, has been called the Martyr Lieutenant Colonel Ilker Celikcan Operation by the TAF.
Ilker Celikcan, who was the commanding officer of the Daglica battalion, was killed alongside fifteen Turkish soldiers stationed in the same battalion, located in the Yuksekova district of Hakkari during a PKK terror attack near the Daglica village on Sept. 6.
Celikcan’s successor, Lieutenant Colonel Ihsan Ejdar, was also killed in another PKK terror attack in the same area on Oct. 17.
The battalion is located along the Turkish border with Iran and has been attacked numerously in the past.
Media reports recounted that five anti-aircraft DShK guns - used against TAF helicopters, 39 heavy armors and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition belonging to these weapons have been captured during military operations.
In addition, the security forces have destroyed the emplacements, bunkers and caves of the terrorist group, making the hideouts completely unusable.
The Turkish prime minister’s office recently announced that the TAF will continue its military operations against the PKK without interruptions during the winter, following a high-level security meeting led by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Nov. 4.
The high-ranking military officials informed the prime minister on the operations and a particular success “in the regions of Oramar, Ikiyaka, and Daglica where the members of the terrorist organisation have been cleared [by security forces],” during the meeting.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also previously emphasised that “the operations against the PKK in Turkey and abroad are being taken in a determined way. There will be no break, we will go on,” in a speech on Oct. 4.
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.