Aydın Muştu, the district deputy head of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the eastern province of Van, was found dead on Sunday in an assassination attributed to the PKK terrorist group. A day later, PKK terrorists also assasinated AK Party Dicle district head Deryan Aktert in southeastern Diyarbakır province.
The first victim Muştu was found dead in his home after being ambushed by PKK terrorists in the district of Özalp where he served as deputy head of the AK Party's district branch. According to information released by the Van Governorate, the terrorists attempted to carjack Muştu's vehicle around 9:00 p.m.
Though he managed to escape, he was later shot dead in his home in front of his children. PKK terrorists reportedly stole the victim's vehicle after killing him.
The murder comes on the heels of another bloody PKK attack in Van where a car bomb exploded in the city center leaving 50 people injured, most of them civilians.
The terrorist organization is targeting AK Party politicians as well as anyone they deem as "critical opposition," even targeting supporters of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). On Aug. 25, the chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and his convoy were caught in the crossfire during an armed clash between the PKK and Turkish soldiers who were escorting the convoy through the northeastern province of Artvin. Turkish security officers managed to thwart an attempted rocket attack by the PKK and Kılıçdaroğlu was not injured.
The leader of the PKK Cemil Bayık said in March that the PKK's main aim is to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AK Party government.
The PKK has a long history of attacking politicians over the past six years, including:
June 29, 2010: AK Party's District Chairman Ahmet Uçar for the district of Yüksekova in the province of Hakkari was targeted when a hand grenade was thrown at his home. No injuries were reported.
July 2, 2012: Three armed PKK terrorists kidnapped AK Party district chairman of Van's Gürpınar district, Hayrullah Tanış. He was released from captivity on Aug. 24. Sept. 3, 2012: Former AK Party provincial chairman of Hakkari and lawyer Mecit Tarhan were kidnapped and later released in Iraq on Oct. 5.
March 16, 2014: AK Party municipal election candidate Zeki Karakuş of Van and four other party members were assaulted while campaigning. April 17, 2014: PKK members kidnapped former local municipal AK Party head Abit Doğruer along with three others in Diyarbakır's district of Dicle. They were released on April 20.
May 17, 2014: PKK terrorists tried to kidnap HUDA-PAR members Ali Ayık and Mikail Ayık, in Diyarbakır's Dicle district. The incident was thwarted by locals but three people were wounded during the struggle.
Oct. 17, 2014: Sixty-six-year-old tradesmen Mehmet Latif Şener - a known HÜDA-PAR supporter - was assassinated in a street attack. Two terrorists were caught while trying to flee to a PKK base in the mountains.
June 5, 2015: AK Party district chairman of Erzurum's Karayazı district, Servet Tutkun, was kidnapped and assaulted before being released the same day.
March 29, 2016: AK Party district chairman of Erzurum's İspir district, Salih Zeki Çetinkaya, was kidnapped on the Bingöl-Diyarbakır motorway while he and his brother traveled to Şanlıurfa. Çetinkaya escaped two days later.
Aug. 13, 2016: Naci Adıyaman, head of the AK Party's youth branch in Şırnak's district of Beytüşşebap was kidnapped and murdered. His body was later discovered.
Sept. 1, 2016: PKK members kidnapped and assassinated 29-year-old Menderes Özer, an AK Party member and the son of a former village guard chairman. Sept. 10, 2016: Explosives left by the PKK were found at the family grave site of Kurdish-origin AK Party deputy chairman, Mehdi Eker Eker.
Sept. 14, 2016: Ahmet Budak, former AK Party parliamentary candidate in Hakkari province, was killed outside his home in front of his son.