19 April 2015
ANF - News Desk
The Turkish state has persistently violated the "consolidated ceasefire’, which was declared at Newroz in 2013, carrying out 888 aerial reconnaissance sorties, 205 land operations and 331 tank and artillery attacks in the last 2 years. In Van and Bingöl the Turkish army ambushed and killed guerrillas.
The recent operation in Ağrı once again highlighted the "consolidated ceasefire’. This was not the first military operation since the ceasefire was declared by Abdullah Öcalan two years ago. According to the HPG Press and Communication office, between March 2013 and April 2015 there have been 888 aerial reconnaissance sorties, 205 land operations and 331 tank and artillery attacks. While most attacks have not led to clashes as the guerrillas are in a non-conflict mode, in 66 clashes 15 guerrillas have died while 42 soldiers and 2 police have also been killed.
Operation while guerrillas withdrew
Aerial reconnaissance flights took place after May 2013 in particular, as guerrillas began to withdraw. In 2013 there were 141 reconnaissance flights, 91 land operations, 3 Cobra helicopter attacks and 100 tank and artillery assaults. 6 clashes broke out in which 2 guerrillas and one soldier were killed.
More operations in 2014
Despite the Turkish state’s refusal to commence negotiations, the Kurdish side stuck to its ceasefire in 2014. However, the Turkish state took advantage of this situation to embark on the construction of military bases, ‘security roads’ and ‘security dams’. In 2014 there were 513 reconnaissance flights, 81 land operations, 15 Cobra helicopter attacks and 75 tank and artillery assaults. There were 60 clashes and 31 guerrilla actions in which 35 soldiers died and 29 military vehicles were hit.
Ambush of guerrillas
12 guerrillas died that year. On 2 July a guerrilla was executed in the
Başkale district of Van province after being captured. The Turkish authorities initially claimed it was an Iranian operation, but the truth subsequently emerged. On 6 August in the Özalp district of Van another guerrilla was killed in an ambush.
More incidents in last 3 months
After Abdullah Öcalan' ten articles were announced at the Dolmabahçe Palace, instead of taking steps towards a solution, the Turkish state accelerated its military preparations. Following Öcalan’s Newroz message the Chief of the General Staff, Necdet Özel, announced ‘border fortification’, which led to further military operations. In the first 3 months of 2015 there were 196 reconnaissance flights, 91 sorties, 24 land operations, 2 Cobra helicopter attacks and 134 tank and artillery assaults. There were 60 clashes and 31 guerrilla actions in which 35 soldiers died and 29 military vehicles were hit. In Cizre in January 2 police died and 2 were wounded.
Army joins in election process
There has been a noticeable increase in military activity since the election process began at the end of March. The People’s Defence Centre Command (PDCC) described artillery attacks which were carried out while there was no guerrilla action as ‘deliberate and conscious’, emphasising that the Turkish army’s operations served the AKP’s aim of securing nationalist votes.
The PDCC said they had the right to retaliate to such attacks, citing the recent clash in Oramar as an example. In the last 15 days there have been 38 reconnaissance flights, 24 sorties, 9 land operations and 22 tank and artillery assaults. The recent provocation carried out by the AKP government and Turkish army in Ağrı was foiled by local people acting as human shields, but was a blatant violation of the ceasefire. In this period there have been 3 clashes, in Ağrı, Oramar and Şemdinli, in which 7 soldiers and 1 guerrilla (in Ağrı) died.
*This piece was originally published by Yeni Özgür Politika and translated from Turkish by ANF English service.