Turkish soldiers have been clashing with the PKK for the past few days in the Pülümür district of Tunceli province. Two soldiers were also injured in clashes on Thursday as a large-scale military operation is under way in the region.
The PKK has recently stepped up its attacks in Turkey's east and southeast. Two soldiers were shot dead by unknown assailants in the southeastern province of Hakkari on Tuesday. The attack is suspected to be the work of the PKK, which has recently been targeting Turkish soldiers and police officers in the Southeast. Spec. Sgt. Yahya Karakaya (27) and Spec. Sgt. Murat Kozanoğlu (25) were killed in the armed attack, which took place on Nedim Zeydan Street in the Yüksekova district of Hakkari, as they left their homes for work.
Also over the weekend, one soldier died and another was injured in the eastern province of Bingöl when the PKK attacked a vehicle transporting construction materials to a military post.
The attacks come in spite of a recent statement by jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, delivered through his lawyers, in which he said he had decided to prolong a unilateral cease-fire his group had declared last summer. The PKK refers to its cease-fire as a “non-attack” decision. Öcalan's lawyers also said he believes the continuation of the cease-fire will contribute to a democratic solution to the Kurdish issue.
The PKK has been declared a terrorist organization by the international community, including the US and the EU.