The operation was jointly conducted by the National Police Department's Special Ops Team and gendarmerie units. The 21 detainees are suspected of aiding the PKK in carrying out an attack in Çukurca in which 24 soldiers were killed and seven others injured.
The PKK, which is fighting for autonomy in Turkey's mainly Kurdish Southeast, was founded on a Marxist ideology. Turkey has been conducting airstrikes on PKK camps in Iraq's northern mountains and inside Turkey since August of last year, following an increase in attacks on Turkish troops and civilians by the PKK, which has been fighting for autonomy in the Southeast since 1984.
The conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives. The group is labeled a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States, which has supplied Predator drones to assist Turkey.