Schools in eastern Turkey face terror attack

Outlawed PKK carries out terror attacks on schools in eastern Turkey as boycott call of their affiliated groups on students fails to find response

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Elementary school students playing in the school yard in eastern province of Van as new school year begins.

Updated Jan 2, 2016

A high school in southeastern province of Van and and an elementary school in central Diyarbakir were targeted by outlawed PKK terrorists with bombs in terror attacks on Wednesday as a call of PKK-affiliated groups on students to boycott schools ahead of the school year did not find a response among locals.

The 2015-2016 school year in Turkey began on Sept. 26, as it was already delayed due to terror attacks carried out by PKK, along with the failure to form a new government.

To suit with the call of PKK affiliated Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and Egitim-Sen to boycott going to school for one week, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas was also reported to not send his children to school.

Demirtas’s wife is also known to be a teacher.

Blast bombs were thrown at the yard of Ahmed-i Hani High School in Tusba district in Turkey's Van province while PKK terrorists opened fire at the school with shotguns.

The windows of the school were broken down and doors were damaged.

According to police reports, 22 bullets hit the school.

Police launched an operation to catch the militants, while repairs started to fix the damaged school.

Also, in nearby Dumlupinar elementary school in Tusba, police had found a bomb earlier the same day.

In Van, security forces conducted wide-scale searches with detectors nearby schools due to the boycott call in neighborhoods of Ipekyolu and Edremit districts.

The police said that,"high number of ready to use molotov cocktails were seized in searches.”

A possible terror attack on Hundredth Year Elementary School in Diyarbakir was prevented by security forces as a hand-made bomb was discovered hidden by PKK terrorists on the windowsill of the school’s library.

Students were immediately evacuated from the school as security forces conducted a controlled explosion for the bomb.

Police took extensive security measures around the school and surveillance systems around the schools are being investigated to seize the attackers.

Meanwhile, media reports suggested that the boycott call of PKK-affiliated groups did not find a response among residents in eastern and southeastern Turkey as schools were flocked with students for the start of the new school year.

Despite the threats, teachers were ready at the schools to welcome their students for the new school year. However, a minority of parents who were concerned over the terror threats did not send their children to school.

Due to the terror threats and ongoing attacks of PKK terrorists, 18 schools among the 1,568 schools in Diyarbakir were not able to provide shuttle services, officials launched transportation for 3,400 students and 70 teachers to different schools.

Digged trenches and barricades have also been set up to prevent students from arriving to school.

On Sept. 17, a terror attack by the youth arm of PKK, YDG-H, took place in Van when an elementary school was attacked by militants with molotov cocktails.

The district director of the Ministry of Education said that Vali Ali Cevdetbey Elementary School in Ipekyolu district of Van was damaged by a fires caused by molotov cocktails and the school's classrooms and administrative offices are currently unusable.

The cost of the damages are estimated to be over 200,000 Turkish Liras (approximately $70,000), the total damages done to the schools in Van caused by PKK attacks are said to exceed a million liras ($350,000).

TRTWorld and agencies