The Southeast's severe difficulty (TURKEY)
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) face important problems in the fight with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), in the southeastern region particularly.
Landmines are the most effective and the newest weapon of the PKK, thanks to the training they have in northern Iraq. The most treacherous weapon in the world are landmines. Generally, they are made in houses. Some explode if stepped on. Some are remote controlled by cell phones or a signal. A coke can on the road or a cigarette package could turn out to be a landmine. The PKK terrorist is able to commit murder while he is hiding.
In fact, 70 percent of the landmines they plant are detected. Success ratio is high. But still there are some undetected. For that, minesweeping continues in fields.
The figures submitted by the General Staff read that a total of 442 incidents took place in 2007, 60 percent of which are caused by either landmines or explosives. The TSK lost 64 soldiers, but caught 220 terrorists.
Trainings are increased to such an extent that the TSK officials say landmines will not be a problem after a while. Till then, the shadow play is to continue.
The PKK's criminal record
Places they are in:
1 In Turkey, there about 1,800-1,900 PKK terrorists mostly concentrated between the provinces of Sirnak and Siirt.
2 Outside Turkey, there are about 3,350-3,750 PKK terrorists.
- About 2 800 - 3 100 of whom are in Northern Iraq
- About 800-850 of whom are in the Kandil Mountain, 700-750 in Hakurk and Metina-Zap regions. (The organization's enlargement committee and general headquarters are situated at the Kandil Mountain and it is about 100 kilometers air distance to Turkey.)
8 A total of 442 incidents were revealed in the last six months. A 65 percent increase since last year.
9 Sixty percent of which, 264 incidents, are caused by landmines and explosives.
10 Security forces detonated landmines and explosives in 189 incidents, 70-percent success.
11 Number of soldiers killed is 64.
12 Number of terrorists caught is 220.
Von: 29.06.2007, Mehmet Ali Birand, Turkish Daily News