A PKK terrorist preparing for bomb attacks in metropolitan areas was caught with 37 kilograms (81 pounds) of trinitrotoluene (TNT) explosives in southern Turkey, the Interior Ministry said Saturday.
Provincial intelligence and anti-terrorism police teams started an operation after receiving a tip about a suspect preparing to take action with materials considered to be explosive in the Karaömerli neighborhood of Sarıçam district in southern Adana province.
A suspicious vehicle with two people was stopped during the operation, and an expert team was referred to the scene after a black bag was found in the vehicle, the statement said.
A search of the vehicle found 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of TNT in the bag.
After the driver said he picked up the terrorist while hitchhiking, a search began at the location where the terrorist entered the vehicle.
Sniffer dogs found approximately 17 more kilograms of TNT buried on the roadside.
It was determined that the terrorist, identified by the initials B.K., was operating in the so-called special forces unit of the PKK/YPG terror group, in charge of carrying out bomb attacks in metropolitan cities.
A large amount of foreign currency, gold and fake identity cards were also seized during a search at a house rented by B.K.
It has been 36 years since the PKK terrorist group launched its murderous campaign as Saturday marked the anniversary of its bloody warfare against Turkish security forces, politicians and civilians alike across Turkey, without even the slightest regard for the safety of women, children or the elderly.
Along with thousands of casualties, the terror group's armed campaign has left behind a trail of destroyed lives and painful memories that remain all too vivid.
It was 36 years ago today when the PKK carried out its first attacks in Eruh and Şemdinli in Turkey's southeastern Siirt and Hakkari provinces.
The attacks on Aug. 15, 1984, were carried out by the terrorist group under its now-imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan, who remains the sole inmate of an island prison off Istanbul since his capture in 1999.
A soldier named Süleyman Aydın was killed, while nine soldiers and three civilians were injured in the attacks, which made the PKK infamous.
"We heard the gunshots and rushed to our homes," Cevher Çiftçi, mayor of Siirt's Eruh district, told Anadolu Agency (AA).
Çiftçi was just 17 years old when he witnessed the attack.
"Of course, people didn't know at the time that it was a terrorist attack. Everyone thought it was a fight between two families. People only realized it was a terror attack after the terrorists broadcast (that information) over the local mosque speakers,'' he said.
In its nearly 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.
Turkish security forces regularly conduct counterterrorism operations, especially in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey where the PKK has attempted to establish a strong presence.
The security forces have adopted strategies like "ending terrorism at its root" and "attack rather than defense" in its operations across the country.
To that end, Turkey has engaged in efforts to convince terrorist organization members to surrender by working together with their families.
However, despite the ongoing fight against the terrorist group, the PKK still strains nerves by attempting to terrorize the country regularly.