President, Army Chief have iftar dinner with soldiers in terror-hit Mardin

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 16.06.2016 00:24

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the operations that started on July 20 last year against the PKK terrorist organization have reached a breaking point. The president made the statements on the current situation on Tuesday during an iftar with soldiers who command the 70th Mechanized Infantry Brigade in the southeastern Mardin province. Paying a surprise visit to the province, where security operations are ongoing in some districts, the president was accompanied by Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar and other senior commanders of the Turkish military.

Indicating that a breaking point has been reached in the serious operations against the PKK, Erdoğan said: "The operations are done in one province and 11 districts but the mission is not finished and is still continuing. We have lots of things to do and we have to finish them."

He also pledged that those who were displaced by PKK terror in the southeastern provinces will be provided with new houses in their hometowns by the state, which will also prevent the terrorists taking root there again.

"Thank God, at this point, the terrorists have taken their lessons with your efforts. Nearly 8,000 of them were killed either here in the country or abroad," he said, highlighting that more than 500 soldiers were killed in the operations.

The visit came after last week Wednesday's car bomb attack on a police station in the southeastern town of Midyat in Mardin that killed six people, including three civilians and wounded at least 34. The PKK have claimed responsibility for the attack. The suicide bomber, identified by his guerrilla name "Dirok Amed," fought in the ranks of the PKK, and was from Diyarbakır, according to the group's statement.

In the same province, where the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) received 67.02 percent of the vote with four deputies in the Nov. 1, 2015 elections, HDP Diyarbakır deputy Altan Tan was protested against by scores of people on his visit to the terror-stricken district. "It is all because of you," people shouted at him, putting the blame on the pro-PKK party for the continuous terrorist attacks across the country. People went on to jeer the deputy, saying, "We sent you to solve problems, not for more people to die." Tan hurried back to his car after the confrontation with the locals. Some people kicked Tan's car and continued to hit it until it left the scene.

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