Turkish military warns of provocation danger on border

Turkish military announces Uludere district of Turkey’s southeast in danger of provocation

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkish military sources have warned against provocation attempts in the Uludere district of Turkey’s southeastern province Sirnak, an eventful district on the Iraqi border.

According to military sources, subunits of the outlawed PKK stationed in the area of Haftanin in northern Iraq gave instructions to the villagers of Uludere to establish a committee to negotiate with local military and civilian authorities for opening the border to smugglers, Turkish Anadolu Agency reported on Thursday.

The PKK is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, as well as NATO and the EU.

The negotiation committee was to be tasked with organising villagers to hold mass protests after prior demands were refused by Turkish military and local officials.

In a meeting launched in the village of Gulyazi in Uludere, an alleged PKK supporter declared the decision to hold protests which were planned to start in the villages of Uludere.

According to the decision, the villagers will try to cross the border and attack soldiers with stones and sticks as the soldiers attempt to prevent them.

A group of villagers attacked Turkish soldiers who were on a counter smuggling operation in Uludere on June 29, injuring 13 soldiers by throwing stones after which security forces detained four villagers.

The Sirnak Governorate announced that the group consisted of approximately 250-300 villagers and they attacked soldiers with stones and sticks after blocking a highway.

On Dec. 28, 2011, 34 people who were smuggling loot through Iraq to Turkey were killed in Uludere by the Turkish Air Force who were mislead as to their identities by intel reports provided by the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations of US-Turkish joint forces in Ankara. The army later stated that the villagers were mistaken to be militants of the outlawed PKK.

The air strike named the “Roboski attack” or “Uludere event” has been the topic of harsh criticism, especially by Kurdish community in Turkey who make up the majority of the population in Turkey’s southeastern provinces.

Then prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, apologised to the families of the 34 people and the Kurdish society for the air strike in the name of Turkish state.

A deputy of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Ferhat Oncu, claimed on Wednesday that the soldiers tasked in Uludere had pointed a gun to him when he joined a march of Uludere villagers who were allegedly precluded from going to their summer camping grounds by soldiers.

Oncu said he will make a denunciation about the soldiers in the region.

PKK terrorists recently opened fire on soldiers in Turkey’s southeastern provinces of Osmaniye and Diyarbakir, according to the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF).

The TAF released a statement on Thursday saying there were no casualties or injuries in the aftermath of the PKK’s armed attack.

TRTWorld and agencies