Turkey has stepped up its struggle against the separatist PKK terrorist organization at home in recent months with emphasis on hitting terrorist bases in the eastern and southeastern mountains of Anatolia and abandoning its strategy of remaining on the defensive.
In the winter months, the PKK terrorists used to slow down their actions and would withdraw into their mountain hideouts. Thus the violence would ebb down and the winter months would pass in relative peace, as security forces would not go after them. Now all that has changed. The security forces have been ordered to continue their operations and catch the terrorists in their mountain hideouts and destroy them. The other significant development has been to take out the terrorist bases and station Turkish forces there and then continue the offensive from these points.
Besides all this, Turkey has deployed the most modern homemade weapons against the PKK including the armed drones developed by Turkish private companies that have hunted down scores of PKK militants in recent weeks dealing blow after blow to the PKK.
Meanwhile, the PKK has been trying to advance its presence and influence in Iraq and Syria. In Iraq, they used to be holed up in the Qandil Mountains in northeastern Iraq, but in recent years, they boldly moved out of these secure zones and have started to send their militants into the Sinjar area near the Syrian border west of Mosul claiming to be giving a helping hand in the fight against Daesh militants who have captured Mosul and its environs.
The local Kurdish administration of Masoud Barzani could not cope with the PKK and had to see the presence of the PKK bases in the Qandil area as a fact of life. The PKK also established close relations with the Goran movement and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of Jalal Talabani and is active in the Suleimaniyak area much to the anger of Barzani. Barzani is also increasingly annoyed with the presence of the PKK in Sinjar, just like Turkey. He sees the eventual challenge of the PKK to his rule.
Now the matter has been further complicated as the PKK has managed to infiltrate into the oil city of Kirkuk where there is a Turkish majority in the city center. Peshmerga forces were sent by the Suleimaniyah administration to save the city from a new Daesh assault and the PKK were allowed to slip into Kirkuk with the peshmerga soldiers.
Turkey does not want the PKK anywhere in Northern Iraq and has served notice that it will struggle to push them out of Sinjar. It will also vehemently oppose any PKK presence in Kirkuk that will be a direct threat to our Turkmen brothers and sisters.
Meanwhile in northern Syria, Turkey is dealing heavy blows against the PKK as its Syrian extension, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) militants are being hit by Turkish tanks and jets west of the Euphrates River. PYD forces tried to move into areas where the Turkish offensive against Daesh pushed out the militants from several villages. Turkish forces along with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) hit them hard several times inflicting heavy casualties on the PYD.
So Turkey's policy on the separatist Kurdish terrorists is very clear: They will be wiped out in Turkey and they will be wiped out in Syria and Iraq.