ISTANBUL: Two officials from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have been shot dead in two separate incidents, state media said Sunday, with officials blaming the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Aydin Ahi, deputy chairman of the AKP in the Ozalp district of the eastern province of Van, was killed overnight just metres (yards) from his house after being seized by militants, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.
The chairman of the AKP in Ozalp, Zahir Soganda, said the killing was carried out by the PKK. Sixteen suspects have already been detained, Anadolu said.
Anadolu said Ahi’s predecessor had also been assassinated in similar circumstances last year.
The deputy chairman of the AKP in the Lice district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakir province, Orhan Mercan, was shot dead early on Saturday in front of his house in another suspected assassination by the PKK, Anadolu quoted local officials as saying.
The PKK has waged an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984 – initially focusing on independence demands then greater rights – that has left tens of thousands of people dead.
It observed a ceasefire from 2013 but fighting resumed again in summer of 2015.
Hundreds of members of the Turkish security forces have been killed since and the army has claimed killing thousands of militants.
The PKK is classified as a terror group by Turkey and the European Union and the United States. — AFP