A young teacher has been killed by the PKK in Turkey’s eastern district of Tunceli, according to a statement from the terrorist organisation on Wednesday.
Necmettin Yilmaz, 23, taught in Turkey’s Sanliurfa district. He was travelling to his hometown of Gumushane, a city in northern Turkey, when his vehicle was stopped and fired on, on the Dersim-Erzincan highway on June 16.
On June 21, the PKK’s armed branch, the People’s Defense Forces (HPG), claimed responsibility for Yilmaz’s murder.
“Necmettin Yilmaz, who reported the places and movements of our guerrilla forces in Dersim [Tunceli] and cooperated with the enemy was punished on 16 June near the Zaxge [Saritas] village, near Dersim [Tunceli], on June 16, ” said HPG in a statement published online.
Yilmaz was the second teacher killed by the terror group this month.
Twenty-two-year-old music teacher Senay Aybuke Yalcin died in a PKK attack on June 9 in Turkey’s southeastern province of Batman.
Yalcin was caught in stray gunfire when the PKK attacked the car of a Batman district mayor.
Yalcin was a vocal critic of the PKK on social media, where she also posted about her joy at being appointed to teach in a region that has long been plagued by terror attacks.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU. It has waged an armed campaign against the Turkish state for most of the period since 1984. It resumed its armed struggle in July 2015 after a brief suspension of hostilities. Since then, authorities say it has killed around 1,200 people, including women and children.
History of terror against teachers
Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalın last week said the PKK had murdered more than 150 schoolteachers since 1984.
“PKK attacks against teachers have been part of a broader effort to undermine state authority, deny educational opportunities to predominantly Kurdish children and discourage other teachers from taking jobs in Turkey’s eastern and southeastern cities.”
“In September 1994, on the first day of school, PKK terrorists abducted six public school teachers from their homes in Tunceli, a city in eastern Turkey, and executed them in the town square – a sight which the local population was forced to witness. One month later, four other teachers were murdered by PKK terrorists in the Tekman district of eastern Erzurum province.”
In his Daily Sabah column, Kalin last week also slammed foreign media outlets for ignoring recent PKK attacks in southeastern Turkey.
“The world has ignored the tragic death of a young girl because it doesn’t fit the PKK narrative or that of its Syrian franchise, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), we are living in the age of terrorism and hypocrisy.”