Authorities have detained a senior member of the PKK terrorist organization during a routine checkpoint in Turkey's western Bursa province, a police source said yesterday.
Police caught Reşat Karabalık, the so-called commander of the Aladağlar area in eastern Van province, in the Harmancık district, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
Karabalık, also known by the pseudonym Sefkan, avoided the police's warning to stop and tried to escape. The police caught him after a brief chase. He was transferred to the counter-terror unit after police suspected the man's ID to be fraudulent.
Karabalık, who joined the terror group in the 2000s, had earlier served as the so-called commander of the Tendürek region in eastern Ağrı province, the source added.
Investigators say he was hiding at his relative's house in western Kütahya province for some time before being caught.
Karabalık was sent to Van province where he was remanded by a court.
The PKK - listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU - resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015. Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including a number of women and children.
Separately, at least 13 suspects allegedly linked to the PKK have been arrested in western İzmir province. The arrests were made during simultaneous raids in Aliağa and Menderes districts. Earlier, the İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office had issued warrants for 15 suspects, who were allegedly making PKK propaganda on social media. The hunt for two other suspects continues.
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