Strong conflict between security forces, PKK crippling Turkey

Turkey has witnessed another bloody week with dozens killed and wounded in attacks amid intense clashes between government forces and the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).

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A vehicle bomb was detonated by the PKK in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, killing at least seven police officers, and injuring dozens more policemen and civilians.

Turkey flag
Turkey

In a series of assaults on the same day, the PKK staged an attack on a military post in eastern province Van, killing one soldier.

Two soldiers and a Syrian refugee watchman were killed in separate attacks staged by the PKK militants in southeastern province Mardin on Friday.

“These attacks will not interrupt our determination to fight against terror,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed, referring to the deadly assaults by the PKK, which is listed as terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

A two-year cease-fire between the Turkey government and the PKK, who originally sought an independent Kurdish state and now demands autonomy and greater rights, collapsed in July last year.
More than 300 members of Turkish security forces and thousands of PKK militants have been killed since then in subsequent clashes.

Turkish security forces have launched a major campaign against the group in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country. The government has declared curfew in several districts of Diyarbakir province.

Turkey has been plunged into the worst violence in decade following the collapse of cease-fire last summer, especially after the attacks in the capital Ankara claimed by Kurdish rebels that killed dozens this year.

As the clashes between the government and the PKK ramp up, the country is also facing an increased terror threat from the Islamic State (IS), which have staged several deadly suicide bombing attacks in Turkish cities recently.

In some cases, the IS deliberately targeted foreigners, killing nationals of Germany, Israel and Iran in two suicide bombing attacks in Turkey’s touristic city Istanbul this year.

The deteriorating security situation in Turkey has dealt a blow to tourism, a key source of the country revenues.

The number of tourists visiting Turkey declined by 10 percent in February compared to last year, according to the figures released by Tourism Ministry on Tuesday. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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