The four included Sedat Özevin, a former chairman of the Batman Bar Association, Salih Özdemir, the former provincial chairman of the now-defunct pro-Kurdish People's Labor Party (HEP), and Sadi Özdemir, a former chairman of the Human Rights Association's (İHD) Batman branch.
The four men were in a car headed to an oil exploration site where the PKK terrorists had overpowered the night watchmen and set up a fire Saturday night. They were headed to the area to help efforts to extinguish the fire, Anatolia news agency reported on Sunday. The fire was later extinguished in a short period of time by firemen.
The PKK, designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union, has recently stepped up its attacks in southeastern Anatolia and other parts of Turkey. The government believes the increase in violence is linked with an upcoming referendum on a package of constitutional amendments.