The PKK terrorist organization is continuing to target politicians in eastern and southeastern Turkey in order to disrupt the country’s peace and security.
On Saturday night, Aydin Ahi, ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s deputy chairman in the eastern Van province’s Ozalp district, was shot just 65 feet (20 meters) from his house while being kidnapped by two PKK terrorists.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of miles to the east, Orhan Mercan, the AK Party’s deputy chairman in the southeastern Diyarbakir province’s Lice district, was also shot dead in front of his house in a suspected PKK assassination.
Diyarbakir and Van, situated some 300 kilometers (185 miles) apart, have been hit by numerous PKK attacks since the group — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU — resumed its 30-year armed campaign in July 2015.
More than 1,200 victims, including security personnel and civilians, have since lost their lives in PKK attacks.
Timeline of other PKK attacks against politicians:
– June 29, 2010: Ahmet Ucar, AK Party district chairman in southeastern Hakkari’s Yuksekova, targeted in a hand grenade attack on his home. No injuries reported.
– July 2, 2012: Three armed PKK terrorists kidnap Hayrullah Tanis, AK Party district chairman of Van’s Gurpinar. Tanis is released on Aug. 24, 2012.
– Sept. 3, 2012: Lawyer Mecit Tarhan, former AK Party provincial chairman of Hakkari, kidnapped. He is released on Oct. 5, 2012, in Iraq.
– March 16, 2014: Zeki Karakus, AK Party municipal election candidate in Van, and four other party members assaulted while campaigning.
– April 17, 2014: PKK terrorists kidnap former local municipal AK Party head, Abit Dogruer, along with three others in Diyarbakir’s Dicle district. They are released on April 20, 2014.
– May 17, 2014: PKK terrorists try to kidnap Free Cause Party (Huda-Par) members Ali Ayik and Mikail Ayik in Diyarbakir’s Lice district. Locals block the attempt but three people are wounded in the struggle.
– July 14, 2014: An explosion occurs along the motor route of Menderes Atilla, AK Party mayor of Sanliurfa’s Ceylanpinar district. He escapes injury but his driver and guard are slightly wounded.
– Oct. 17, 2014: Mehmet Latif Sener, 66-year-old tradesmen known for being a Huda-Par follower, is assassinated in a street attack in Van province. Two terrorists are later caught while trying to flee to a PKK mountain base.
– June 5, 2015: Servet Tutkun, AK Party district chairman of Erzurum’s Karayazi, is kidnapped and assaulted. Tutkun is released the same day.
– March 29, 2016: Salih Zeki Cetinkaya, AK Party district chairman of Erzurum’s Ispir, is kidnapped from his car on the Bingol-Diyarbakir motorway en route to Sanliurfa. Cetinkaya escapes two days later.
– Aug. 13, 2016: Naci Adiyaman, head of the AK Party’s youth branch in Beytussebap, Sirnak, kidnapped; his dead body is found later.
– Sept. 1, 2016: PKK terrorists kidnap and murder Menderes Ozer, an AK Party member and the son of a former village guard association head in Hakkari’s Semdinli district.
– Sept. 10, 2016: The PKK leaves explosives at a family grave of the AK Party Deputy Chairman Mehdi Eker in Diyarbakir’s Bismil district.
– Sept. 14, 2016: Ahmet Budak, AK Party parliamentary candidate in the Hakkari province, killed outside his home.
– Oct. 9, 2016: Aydin Mustu, AK Party deputy head in the Ozalp district of eastern Van province, killed at his home in front of his children.
– Oct. 11, 2016: Deryan Aktert, AK Party district chairman in southeastern Diyarbakir’s Dicle, killed at his workplace.
– Oct. 16, 2016: Mehmet Serif Dogu, member of municipality council in Ercis district of Van, killed in front of his home.
– March 9, 2017: Tayfun Ayhan, AK Party leader of the town of Esendere in the Yuksekova district of the southeastern Hakkari province is wounded and his brother Murat Ayhan killed in a gun attack in southeastern Turkey.
– April 15, 2017: Motorcade of AK Party district chairman Ibrahim Vanli attacked by PKK terrorists in Muradiye district of Van; Vanli’s nephew Adnan, who was also a guard, lost his life.
– June 9, 2017: The PKK terrorists first opens fire on the district mayor’s car, being driven by one of his relatives, in the southeastern province of Batman. The gun shots end up killing a 22-year-old music teacher Senay Yalcin and injuring another civilian.
– In another incident, terrorists blew up their car when security forces intercepted them at a gendarmerie station near Bekirhan town’s entrance in Kozluk district. The incident left two soldiers martyred and a civilian injured.
– June 27, 2017: Four PKK/PYD suspects were detained during an anti-terrorism operation in southeastern Turkey. The suspects, who were allegedly planning a terrorist attack on security personnel and directors of AK Party, crossed the border illegally and were held in Sanliurfa’s Suruc district near the Syrian border.
*Reporting by Cemal Asan; Writing by Fatma Bulbul