Ten members of the PKK terrorist organization turned themselves in to authorities in southeastern Turkey as the country escalated its offensive against the group, which recently claimed dozens of brutal attacks against security forces and civilians.
The Governorate of Şırnak, a province lying on the border with Iraq, said 10 militants were added to the existing 969 terrorists who had already turned themselves in to authorities in the province over the past two years.
If they surrender, militants benefit from a law that exempts them from punishment if they are not engaged in any armed attacks in Turkey.
The surrender came at a time of a resumption of violence by the terrorist organization. The PKK has killed more than 145 police officers and troops and at least 137 civilians since July, the month it declared an end to a unilateral "truce" with Turkey. Turkish security forces have killed more than 2,000 terrorists since then, according to the Interior Ministry.
Renewed violence in Turkey came in the wake of the July 20 Suruç suicide bombing, which left dozens of people dead and was blamed on the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a foe of the PKK whose affiliates in Syria are engaged in a violent conflict. The subsequent PKK-linked murder of two police officers at their home sparked a new wave of violence in the country.
Although it has a presence in the predominantly Kurdish area of southeastern and eastern Turkey, PKK leadership is based in a mountain in Northern Iraq. The Qandil Mountains and its vicinity have suffered from a series of airstrikes by the Turkish Armed Forces, and terrorists occasionally flee the hideouts in the mountain and surrender to troops on the nearby Turkish border.
The PKK's violent return, which followed a string of non-lethal attacks against security forces, had led to a suspension of the reconciliation process - a government-sponsored initiative to put an end to the terror campaign that has killed tens of thousands of people since the 1980s. The reconciliation process has encouraged a group of Kurdish families whose children joined the PKK to speak out. Their sit-in strike last year in the province of Diyarbakır had led to many young recruits of the terrorist organization surrendering, though many still remain in the ranks of the group.
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